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Red Pepper & Sun-Dried Tomato Bolognese with Eggplant Pappardelle

Let me fill you in.  When I decided to go to Culinary School years ago, my dream wasn’t to own a fancy restaurant or decorate beautiful pastries, but rather, to work as a recipe developer.  I have been inspired by recipes and the photos that accompany them all of my life and the dream was to ignite that same experience in others.  As life tends to go, I fell into a desk job and it fit the needs of my life.  One thing led to another and I basically forgot this original dream.  Since starting this blog two months ago, I have been reminded how much I truly love this.  Whether it be the formulation of ideas, cooking the recipes, formatting posts or, the best part, listening and communicating with all of you and with that getting a chance to share my passion and food philosophy, I enjoy every moment.  The only bummer?  There is only so much time in the day, and developing recipes, cooking them with pictures and then posting them take quite a bit of time and effort.  With working full-time, I can’t give this and you guys, what I think is due.  So…my husband and I made a HUGE decision. We decided to take the leap and go after the dream I forgot so long ago.  Last Thursday I walked into my job, and gave my two week’s notice.  Even as I write this it hasn’t totally hit me.  I had given up on this dream and convinced myself I wasn’t good enough and didn’t have what it takes.  What I now know is what it takes, is passion, hard work, and a true love and appreciation for food.  I can proudly say I have in spades.  I am not going to lie to you, the idea of taking this gamble causes both a pit in my stomach and my soul to soar.  So I am putting it out on the line.  I am no longer in the wine industry or inventory management but rather I am Tedi Plate, Food Blogger, Recipe Developer and Food Stylist.  As I type this, and I mouth those words, a smile is forming and my heart is pounding.  Finally, I feel like I am doing what I was meant for.  Am I stressed and does this give me anxiety?  Absolutely, but not the drown myself in frosting kind of anxiety, as I feel like a weight has been lifted and my true self is finally realized.  It’s rather the excitement for what’s next coupled with the sharp realization that much of it is unknown.  I know that even if this doesn’t work, I will have tried, I will have given it my all, and that will be enough.  So this is to say, it’s been a busy week at work and home planning and getting ready.  This means I have very little time to cook, so I was so happy to have this Bolognese in the freezer ready for dinner a few nights ago.  Not to mention we did a little celebrating on that day, and I only had 5 points left so this fit in perfectly.  With the roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato, this chicken Bolognese is full of flavor and the eggplant really makes you feel like you are having pasta.  I finished dinner, with my belly and heart full, daydreaming of the future ahead.

So…thank you for supporting me and showing me this is valuable, for validating that my story is worth something, and recognizing my culinary excitement and the creativity that comes from it.    I promise not to waste that support, be transparent, and give you all I have.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

As always…Happy Feasting!

-Tedi

Red Pepper & Sun-Dried Tomato Bolognese with Eggplant Pappardelle
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4 Smart Points for one cup of sauce Always remember to take a look at the Recipe Notes for the Weight Watcher Recipe Builder Calculation and Nutrition Label calculation. These will also show you exactly what products I use.***
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Weight Watcher Points 3 Freestyle Smart Points
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Weight Watcher Points 3 Freestyle Smart Points
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Directions
  1. Take sun dried tomatoes and add warm warm water. Soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil. Put your red bell peppers on pan.
  3. Broil until well charred, flipping half way through.
  4. Put the red bell peppers in ziplock bag and set aside.
  5. In a food processor, process mushrooms until finely minced. If you don't have a food processor, you can manually mince them. If you do use your food processor, take a moment to clean this out right now as we will use it again later in the recipe.
  6. Heat large pot to medium heat and spray with oil. Add onions and garlic and cook 10 minutes, until translucent and slightly browned.
  7. While your onions and garlic are cooking, mix together minced mushrooms, sausage, ground chicken and Worcestershire sauce. It isn't going to be very appealing at this stage. Don't worry about that.
  8. Once onion mixture are translucent and softened, increase the heat to medium high and add the chicken mixture. Cook until browned slightly and cooked through.
  9. While chicken mixture is cooking, peel roasted red pepper and strain sun-dried tomatoes. Put peeled red pepper and softened sun dried tomatoes in food processor and blend until smooth.
  10. Once your chicken mixture is cooked through, add crushed tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, and the pureed red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. The sauce can be made ahead and either refrigerated and used within three days or frozen and used within four months. I like to make a big batch and then freeze it in smaller amounts for easy midweek meals. Remember that whenever you make something early, the seasoning levels will change as it sits, so make sure to taste it and re-season before serving. Often times, I will hold off on seasoning until the day we are actually eating the sauce.
  11. The next step is making the pappardelle, while your sauce is cooking (or heating up if you have prepped it early). First, cut off the tops and peel your eggplant.
  12. You can make your pasta either of two separate ways. First is to just use a peeler and peel long strips length wise from the top of the eggplant to the bottom, creating long ribbons. I prefer this way because you can better control how your pieces are cut. They are also a bit thicker which I think helps with the texture of the eggplant pasta.
  13. But...if you are short on time, or just love your spiralizer, use a spiralizer with the Ribbon Cut blade. I found that with my spiralizer, I had to flip the eggplant half way through because the seeded area became too hard to spiralize. You can see this in the photo. Like I said, either way will work just fine.
  14. Once you have your eggplant pasta, put in a bowl and season with salt. Toss and let sit for about 15 minutes. This softens the natural bitterness of the eggplant while also removing some water which will make the texture a lot more pasta-like.
  15. Take the eggplant and put in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out any excess water.
  16. Heat a skillet to medium high eat, spray with oil, and add eggplant. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring consistently, until lightly browned.
  17. Serve one cup of sauce over 1/6th the of cooked eggplant pappardelle. Top each bowl with 1/4 oz of shaved Parmesan and ENJOY!
Recipe Notes

***Note that, as with all of my recipes, if you use a different brand, there may be a slight change in points total. Let me know if you find a brand of something that you like. I am always looking for new and exciting ingredients.

For Weight Watchers Recipe Builder Smart Points Calculation click HERE

Nutrition Facts
Red Pepper & Sun-Dried Tomato Bolognese with Eggplant Pappardelle
Amount Per Serving
Calories 394 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 630mg 26%
Potassium 1149mg 33%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 17g 68%
Sugars 21g
Protein 37g 74%
Vitamin A 86%
Vitamin C 246%
Calcium 18%
Iron 25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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