Friday, September 24, 2010

"Surprise! Company's Coming" Baked Spaghetti and Zucchini

This afternoon my husband called me and told me he invited his parents and some family to dinner.....a few hours later.  Then he told me he wanted spaghetti. Spaghetti? Okay, simple enough.  So I packed up the kiddies, drove to the store, spent 40 minutes shopping for what should have taken 15 and began cooking in a frenzy.  A frenzy is usually about the worst way to do something, especially cook but what choice did I have?

I filld a big pot with a bunch of water, and added 1 1/2 pounds whole wheat spaghett, no salt because I was cooking for a no-sodium crowd.  So I grabbed my Ninja (remind me to rave to you all about this wonderful little machine later) and buzzed 1 onion, 1/2 of a green and 1/2 of a red bell pepper, and 3 cloves of garlic.  I added it to a hot pan with about 2 teaspoons of oil, sunflower oil to be exact.  Then I added
  • 1/2 lb. of 93/7 ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound 96/4 ground beef
  • 1/2 pound 93/7 ground beef. 
(Yes, I realize I used every ratio of protein to fat available for consumption, but it's what I had lying around).  I drained this enter mixture of excess fatty-ness and transferred it to a large pot, and added
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil,oregano and garlic,
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes with basil
(Once again, I realize I used every type of canned tomato carried in modern stores these days).  To the mix I added about 1/2 cup sugar, about 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder and some cracked black pepper.  I turned the oven to 400 and grabbed a big casserole.  Around this time my spaghetti was perfectly cooked, so I drained it really well and returned it to its home ( the pot, remember?) and poured all of my lovely sauce on it.....And then I let them dance around together on medium heat, to get them better acquainted of course.  Next, I put half of my spaghetti in my favorite blue ceramic casserole dish, added 1 cup of mozzarella and three slices of orphaned provolone cheese I found in the fridge.  The other half, then 1 cup of Italian blend cheese. 

Somewhere in this frenzy, I sliced two zucchini and 1/2 an onion and added them to a piping hot pan with 1 tb of Smart Balance and let it get all brown and tasty, then I added black pepper and garlic powder.  Then for 20 minutes the cheese melted and browned, and then we all ate baked spaghetti and zucchini with smiles on our faces :)

P.S. What is your go-to meal when you have last minute company?

*I apologize for the lack of pictures, I told you I was in a frenzy right? And oh yea, did I mention this meal had NO added salt, and a negligible amount of added fat? With whole grain? Yea, pick up your brain off the edge of the lamp shade, because you mind has officially been blown.


This is the broken glass from the bowl that fell out of a cabinet and bounced off my chest before crashing to the floor at 3 am.  Great! I needed this with two kiddies running around! Who else would this happen to besides me? Maybe you? What's your clumsy cook story?

1 comment:

lindahasan said...

Some of the best spaghetti that I've ever had the pleasure of tasting!I usually don't do other people's spaghetti, especially whole wheat.