Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The kids ate Vegetables and they didn't know it!

I like different ingredients. What I mean by this, is that I like trying something new or something that is not a mainstream groccery for food item. I find a lot of these types of products, but have not mentioned them here as yet, well not as often as I would like to anyway. So, I thought I would introduce a product that I discovered a couple of weeks ago at my local Woolworths/Safeway.  I found it in the isle with the pickles and chutneys. I am partial to a good tomato relish and while I much prefer a handmade one, I don't mind Masterfoods take on a tomato relish. So I was here checking them out and found this little jar:
It's actually not super small but the colour of the relish is what caught my eye. When I looked at the ingredients of capsicum, tomato, and eggplant. I thought this would be good to add to a lasagne or pasta dish, or even a paragania. So I took the plunge and gave it a try. As its in a jar, its a great food storage product.

What did I make?
I decided to make a big dish of my pasta bake with homemade bachemel sauce. The kids love this, but this time they didn't know they were eating capsicum and eggplant!!  When you open the jar, there is a strong smell of vinegar, as it is a relish. To combat this, I added a jar of our favourite pasta sauce, also to mask the fact that I had something 'else' in it.

The portions are for my family of 6 so adjust to your own portions or at least you can freeze for future meals.

1 jar of Ajvar Vegetable relish
1 jar of pasta sauce
500g mince meat (chicken, pork, veal, beef)
500g of dried pasta cooked and cooled.
1-2 cups of grated cheese

Bachemal Sauce
100g butter
2 table spoons of flour
1-2 cups of milk

Tuscany herb sprinkle (Masterfoods)


1. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and put aside to cool.
2. Cook mince meat until brown and drain excess juices.
3. Add Ajvar Vegetable relish and pasta sauce and stir and cook through. Lower heat and allow to simmer.

4. Put cooled pasta into a baking dish and add meat sauce.
5. In seperate saucepan melt butter on medium heat.
6. Add flour and stir until becomes a paste and quickly add 1/2 cup of milk and stir until thickens.
7. Continue to add 1/2 cup at a time and stir until thickens.
8. Once all milk used and desired amount of sauce made add a good sprinkle of Tuscany herbs and put aside.
** Be careful with the bechamel. It can thicken quickly. If this happens adding a little milk will thin it down. Once you get the desired thickness, its best to take off heat immediately and add to dish*****
9. Pour on top of meat sauce and spread across bake. Add grated cheese and sprinkle with more tuscany herb sprinkle.

10. Bake in oven at 180C for 15mins or until cheese is melted and browned or to your liking.

Pantry items
Ajvar relish
pasta sauce
dried pasta
butter (can be kept in fridge or get canned butter)
Milk (tetra or can use powdered if necessary)


Sarah said...

MMMM. I'd eat almost anything with bechamel sauce. This sounds so yummy and a sneaky way to get them to eat veggies.

Leimay said...

Sounds delish... I've never made my own bechamel (insert embarassed face here) infact i've not made lots of things that i always thought just come from a jar.
My challenge to myself this year (with the help of great blogs like yours) is to make more things from scratch and enjoy them.... Now this little number will be making an entry into my meal plan this week and maybe even into the meal plan for my youngests 1st birthday next month.

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