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Cheap eats: Summer vegetable pasta sauce

July 22, 2009

Pretax cost is $2.59 per serving for eight servings. Prices are from Martin's Food Market on Wesel Boulevard in Hagerstown. Prices include the optional herbs. The salt, pepper and flour were not included in the price per serving.

Summer vegetable pasta stew



3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red or green pepper, cut into strips
1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cubed
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 yellow summer squashes, sliced
1 zucchini, cut into thin spears
1 cup ripe or canned tomatoes, diced; reserve juice if using canned tomatoes
Sprig of rosemary (optional)
Handful of basil, torn (optional)
16 ounces, wide egg noodles
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saut the onions, garlic and pepper strips.

In a bowl, toss the cubed eggplant with flour, salt and pepper. Add to the skillet, stirring to brown all sides of the eggplant lightly.

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Add squash, zucchini, tomatoes, half of the tomato juice from the can, the rosemary and basil. Cover and steam until just tender, approximately 6 to 8 minutes. While the vegetables are steaming, check the mixture to see if it is too dry; if so, add the remaining tomato juice.

Remove the lid. Stir and simmer. Let the mixture cook down, about 5 minutes. This dish has a thin sauce.

Heat water and cook egg noodles per instructions on package so the noodles will be ready when the vegetable mixture is done.

Put noodles in bowls. Add veggie mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan on dish. Serve immediately.

Cook's note: Use what's in your garden, which would make the recipe cheaper. If you have three zucchini and no yellow squash, that's fine. Could add 1/4 cup red or white wine with tomato juice, if desired.

Serves 8.

Courtesy of Yolanda DiFabio of Hagerstown

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