This was a throw together meal, yummy, and I got to use up the last handful of green beans, 1 zucchini, and a few tomatoes.  The garden is winding down.  You can feel fall is in the air - rainy days, cooler weather is on it's way.  This was a meal that literally was thrown together with whatever ingredients we had in the fridge, and the few handfuls left from the garden - healthy and tasty:

It does not look like too much on the plate, but it sure was tasty and flavorful.  Kind of reminds me of a healthy old school Hamburger Helper - but way way better.

Recipe of 1/2 of a package of Tinkyada Pasta - macaroni or spiral style
1 onion diced
3-5 minced garlic cloves
1 lb. free range ground beef
olive oil
1/4 of a diced green pepper
1 medium sized sliced and quartered zucchini
3 large tomatoes cut into chunks
handful of green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
handful of sliced Crimini mushrooms
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup of water
1-2 Tblsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Tblsp. dried Basil
2 Bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Aged Cheddar Cheese.
Begin by cooking the pasta as per directions.  Heat up a saute pan medium heat with a good drizzle of olive oil.  Add in the mushrooms, sauteing until they are nice and golden brown.  Remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.  Add in another drizzle of olive oil, and saute the onions, pepper, and garlic - about 5 minutes, until sweat out.  Add Seasonings, stirring to combine.  Then add in the ground beef - breaking up, and brown.
Meanwhile, chop up the zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes.  Once the meat is browned, return the mushrooms to the pan, as well as the chopped zucchini, green beans and tomatoes.  Add one small can of tomato paste, 1 cup of water, stirring to combine.  Adjust seasonings, bring to a light simmer, lid on, and simmer about 25 minutes.
Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.  Once the meat and veggies have simmered about 25 minutes, add in the cooked pasta, stirring to combine.  Remove the Bay leaves, then transfer to a casserole dish. Add a good sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, and top with grated Aged Cheddar Cheese.  Cover and bake in a 325 degree oven 30 - 40 minutes, until bubbly.

Ina Gawne

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September 22, 2010