Monday, July 7, 2008

Antipasto Polenta and Baked Spaghetti

John gets up earlier than I do, gets coffee ready, and does his morning thing while I get my much needed beauty rest. Unfortunately, this morning, he woke me up to bad news. Someone had broken our drivers side back car window in an effort to steal a bag we had on the backseat. To their disappointment, it contained our disks for playing disk golf. Thankfully, they then threw the bag down in our driveway and left.
I was very angry and in an effort to manage my anger, I roasted some red peppers. While doing this, John contacted the insurance company and found out we are 100% covered and will not receive a rate hike as a result of the claim. Although still frustrated and annoyed, I set out to make something delicious out of my roasted red peppers. I settled on Antipasto Polenta. I started with a recipe, stuck to the procedures but strayed from the ingredients pretty quickly. Here are the ingredients I used instead:
4 cups Water
1 cup Polenta
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons Sun-Dried Tomatoes, (from a jar, including the oil)
2 Red Bell Peppers, roasted
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 cup ripped spinach
Using sun dried tomatoes from a jar, oil included, gives a great start for sautéing the garlic and onion. Add all three to a frying pan and cook until onions are translucent. Add the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes longer.

I prepared the polenta and continued the recipe as suggested. I loved the flavor, but it was difficult and time consuming to fry. The pieces kept falling apart and by the time we were able to flip them, they were a little over cooked. Not sure what I would do differently next time, but think it might have something to do with the oil from the sun dried tomatoes.

The baked spaghetti is a hodge-podge of leftover ingredients. I used whole wheat spaghetti from Garden Time Organics and a tomato sauce that consisted of a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato puree, thyme, oregano, and basil (all dried) salt and pepper, and a little baking soda to neutralize the acidity. The "meat" is Yves Meatless Ground cooked with a white onion and a few garlic cloves, then added to the tomato sauce and cooked for about 20 minutes. After layering the pasta and "meat" sauce, I shredded some leftover vegan mozzarella on top, baked for 20 minutes at 350 and sprinkled with some fresh parsley from my herb garden!
We loved the baked spaghetti. The Antipasto Polenta probably won't get a repeat due to its difficulty, messiness, but not due to the delicious flavor!

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