The one thing I wanted Andy to make me for Mother's Day was grilled vegetables. I didn't care about anything else, but I wanted the veggies. So I picked up a nice selection of vegetables and he prepared them for me. We used zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, fennel, red bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes, and the blend was perfect. He put them on our large pizza pan and grilled them that way- they were perfect, but of course, we made a bit too much.
Yesterday I opened up the fridge to see what I could prepare for dinner and I spotted those leftover veggies and puzzled over them for a bit. After a while, I decided they needed to go in pasta- and since Zander had just requested spaghetti, spaghetti it was. My original thought was a spaghetti tossed with the roasted veggies and olive oil, but I suspected the kids would not jump up and cheer over that spaghetti. So I opted for a marinara instead. I boiled up my spaghetti, and warmed a jar of marinara with the roasted vegetables in it. I daresay, there could not have been a better use for those vegetables. In fact, it tasted a lot like a spaghetti dish I get at a local restaurant. The star was clearly the fennel- it was made to be grilled and tossed in marinara I tell you.
The kids gobbled it up, I gobbled it up, and there is a small bit left in the fridge waiting for me for lunch today. Grilled vegetables can go a long way, but tossed with some whole wheat spaghetti has to be one of the best uses for them. I mention the whole wheat spaghetti because we've switched to whole wheat pasta, and no one has really noticed. I think Andy and I have now adjusted to where that is the flavor we prefer for pasta, but the kids never really noticed. They still slurp up their spaghetti and rave about it all the way. The biggest change that has come about because of the whole wheat pasta is that we all eat a little less. The whole grains fill us up more than regular standard pasta, so we eat less, which means I can make less, which ultimately translates to savings in the checkbook- all from switching to a different pasta. If you haven't tried it yet, you really should.