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I cook stuff.

Ziti with Skillet-Roasted Root Vegetables

I made this last night for movie night, and it was actually a surprising hit - even with Sin, who is as a rule not a giant veggie person and doesn't like onions all that much. (And it's actually a vegetarian dish, as long as you're the sort of vegetarian that still believes in cheese.)

Some notes:
- The fresh rosemary is a must. And makes your kitchen smell heavenly.

- They treat the beet greens as optional, but honestly I think they're a must as well. They help balance out the sweetness of all the root vegetables and give the thing some color other than scary fuchsia.

- The picture on the recipe is deceptive. I thought that there was marinara involved since it appears red. In actuality, there is no sauce, and everything turns an alarming shade of bright fuchsia once cooked.

- They say it serves four. Well, it served four adults with hearty appetites AND there was enough left over to fill an 8 cup tupperware. Between the pasta and the veggies, it completely filled up my largest pot, which I used to cook the pasta. (That said, my largest pot is probably pretty modest in size depending on your standards.)

- I used penne instead of ziti. You can also use rigatoni. I'd recommend pasta of the smaller tubular variety, though, since it mixes up more nicely.

- This recipe ended up taking me over an hour to make. The cooking time is actually not too bad... maybe 20-25 minutes once you get everything in the pan and going. No, what takes forever is all the peeling and chopping everything up, so you probably want to have an assistant.

- Start heating up your water as soon as you're done all your chopping.

- If you've never worked with beets before, here's an important piece of advice - wear gloves. Otherwise you run the risk of staining your skin bright pink. Also I recommend an apron if you're wearing anything you care about.

Amounts of vegetables, since I always overestimate:
3-4 parsnips of good size make 2 cups, once you've removed the woody cores of the larger parsnips.
6 beets (each a little smaller than my fist) made up 2 cups.
1 huge red onion makes 2.5 cups, or 2 medium ones.
1 large sweet potato is more than enough for 2 cups. I ended up throwing about 1/4 of mine away.

For the beet greens, if you buy the beets with the tops included, you'll only end up using maybe 1/3 of them, but that means you get to pick and choose which greens look nicest. You really don't need more than 3-4 cups worth of chopped greens for the whole mess unless you have someone that REALLY likes beet greens.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
Ooh, this recipe sounds perfect for my household, as long as I use enough cheese and butter with it, so I can trick my flawed vegetarian that he should eat more root veggies.
Jan. 20th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC)
It's really good. I bet you can get the geek to eat it. If you leave the beet greens off, it's basically pasta with some sweet starchy stuff and lots of cheese. :D He'll never even notice. ;-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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