Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dinnertime musings

My little Bubbah, my Bean, and I spent a glorious afternoon at my mother's today, playing outside and watching a pair of spastic squirrels square off over Bubb's dropped peanut butter cracker. (We eventually tossed them another one, just to make it fair. I surmised the squirrels were sisters--they still went after each other's cracker.) After spending a day sunning and relaxing, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking an elaborate dinner. Plus, it's shopping day. The inside of the fridge looks remarkably like Antarctica: white and empty. Soooooo...what's for dinner? Let's hop over to for inspiration!

Bakes Spaghetti with Burrata it is. Thank you Marina!!!

Baked Spaghetti with Burrata 
serves 8 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
1 small yellow onion 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper 
1 (28 oz) plus 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes (or my favorite, 1-2 boxes Pomi strained tomatoes) 
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste  
1 cup sliced bell pepper, any color 
1/2 cup sliced crimini mushrooms 
2 tablespoons capers (optional) 
8 oz. cooked meatballs (optional)
1 lb. spaghetti (whole wheat, gluten free, high protein, etc.) 
8 oz burrata or fresh mozzarella (packed in water), drained 
In a large pot over medium heat saute onion in olive oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and saute another minute. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste and cook 15 minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms, capers, and meatballs and simmer until vegetables are just softened, about 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until al dente according to package directions and drain. Preheat broiler. 

Toss spaghetti with sauce and transfer to a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Tear cheese into pieces and scatter over pasta. Place dish under broiler and cook 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted and browned in spots. 

Make Ahead Option: 
Assemble the entire dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for up to 1 day. Instead of broiling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and browned. 

Vegan Option: 
Use vegan meatless meatballs and vegan mozzarella or parmesan cheese. 

Gluten Free Option: 
Use gluten free spaghetti and meatballs 
I used gemelli instead of spaghetti, and mozzarella, but it was still fabulous: fast and tastie. Yummy Mummy is one of my favorite food blogs, AND Marina has a cookbook available. Guess what I'm itching to pick up??

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