cleaning out the fridge

This afternoon I had a hair appointment with my friend and stylist, Virginia.  I just love her.  When I make afternoon/evening appointments she has wine waiting for me at the salon…got to love that!!!


So I spent the last couple of hours of my day sipping red wine, reading Gourmet looking for Thanksgiving ideas (Bri and I are hosting some friends this year!!!), chatting with Virginia and getting new hair.  Excellent.


When I got home I immediately started on dinner.  Tomorrow is grocery shopping day, so I wanted to make sure I used up any leftover perishables we have so that we could replenish with fresh stock tomorrow.  In the fridge and pantry I found these items (the eggplant is from our garden!!!):


Looks like Spicy Ham and Bean Pasta to me!  I boiled some brown rice pasta for the base.  I didn’t have the package anymore for the penne, but its the same brand as the spaghetti shown below.



I really like brown rice pasta.  I used to buy only whole wheat but its a lot chewier than regular semolina.  I discovered brown rice pasta a few months ago and love that it has the same silky texture as semolina pasta. It takes about the same amount of time to cook (less time than whole wheat) and gets really mushy if it is overcooked.  I was especially happy when I found it in lasagna noodle shape, because I was really unhappy with the texture of whole wheat pasta in my lasagna.

I sauteed 1/2 an onion and 1/2 the eggplant in 1 tbsp of olive oil for a few minutes.


Then added the red bell pepper to saute’ a few more minutes.


Then added a handful of chopped ham, 1/2 the can of garbonzo beans (drained and rinsed) and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.


I let this saute’ a bit longer on the stove so everything could warm and meld together, then added the jar of tomato pasta sauce.


This all simmered on the stove for about 15 minutes while I cleaned up and made hubby and I each our own salad on the side, consisting of:

  • baby lettuce
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • cucumber
  • red bell pepper
  • corn

Our opinions differ on dressing, so while I had a drizzle of grape seed oil and a double drizzle of red wine vinegar, hubby had ranch.  🙂



We had this wine with it, one of my new favorites and a steal for only $7-$8.


I hope everybody has a wonderful evening!  Tomorrow starts Week #2 of the 10-Miler Training Program, and the 1-Week Anniversary of Bella Eats!  🙂


6 responses to “cleaning out the fridge

  1. Hooray for Gourmet magazine, gluten-free pasta, homegrown eggplant, and a gorgeous dinner!

    Good luck with your training tomorrow; and happy 1-week bloggiversary!! 😀

  2. Do you want to submit this for the BSI this week?

  3. I’ve never tried brown rice pasta before and may try it now after seeing yours. Nice pasta dinner you have there. 🙂

  4. Thanks, VeggieGirl!!!

    Meghann, I think I’ll pass on the BSI this week. This was literally a “throw everything I have in the fridge/pantry” kinda meal. I’m excited to see the other submissions though! We grew eggplant all summer and had a hard time coming up with anything other than ratatouille and eggplant parm…

    Alicia, you should definitely try it! Its all we buy now… 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  5. I’ve never had brown rice pasta either, but have always wondered about it. Thanks for the comparison!

  6. yummy. i love brown rice pasta… and wine for that matter. even though i’m 19, my mom let’s me have a glass once in a while. thank god!

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