September 22, 2011

Spicy Sausage, Two Ways: Part One

First!  This post and the next are about two recipes that are not vegetarian.  But if you are a vegetarian, please keep reading because I definitely think you can make vegetarian versions of both the recipes - and if you do, I'd love to hear how they turned out!

For the last two months, MG and I have not bought any meat.  Not because we're not eating it, but because 1) we're trying to eat *less* of it, and 2) we still had a lot in our freezer from when we combined kitchens. So, we decided to not buy any more meat until we finished what we had. When we finally start buying it again, we're going to limit it to only 1 or 2 purchases a month.

Getting browned, with some balcony garden rosemary.

Although I enjoy a good burger from time to time, I'm not a huge eater of ground meat in any form, be it beef or pork.  It's not that I don't like it, it's more that I don't love it, so when I'm trying to choose something from one of the hundreds of recipes I have, recipes that call for ground meat don't usually win out.  However, MG still had a package of ground Italian spicy sausage in the freezer that dates back to the old apartment, and I knew that we needed to get around to using it.  It was a whole pound though, which is more than I would put into any one recipe, and since I'm wary of refreezing raw meat, I figured I'd need to find two recipes to use.

First we add some tomatoes...

And then LOTS of olives.

I was successful!  My plan was to make one dinner-y type dish and then one soup that we could parcel out and freeze for lunches when the weather turned colder (spoiler alert: we ended up not wanting to wait until the weather turned colder. There is only one serving of soup left.)

For the dinner dish, I pulled out a pasta dish that I'd had my eye on for a while: Pasta with Spicy Sausage, Tomatoes, Rosemary and Olives from the New York Times.  I pretty much followed the recipe as is, with the following modifications:

1. I only used 1 tbsp olive oil
2. I used a 14 oz can diced tomatoes with a little of the juice drained off.
3. I added 1/2 yellow onion, diced
4. I used more like 1/2 cup green olives (I love olives!)
5. I didn't use whole-wheat pasta. We still have 5 boxes of pasta from the 15 we had when we combined households to go through before we're allowed to buy more. #singlepeopleshouldnotbuyinbulk
6. I added 1/2 bag of baby spinach at the end and let it wilt down.


I was very happy with the recipe, but I did find it a little oily.  I think the next time I make it I would drain off the oil from the sausage before adding the rest of the veggies, or even further reduce the amount of olive oil.

Pasta with Spicy Sausage, Tomatoes, Rosemary and Olives
Adapted from The New York Times

This made 4 really large portions.  You could probably get a 5th out of it, if you had a large bunch of greens on the side.

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb hot Italian sausage - we used ground, otherwise remove the casings
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, a little of the juice drained off
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup green olives with pimentos, sliced
1/2 bag baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 lb pasta (we used penne, something spirally would be good too)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to the package.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute the sausage and rosemary until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and onion and saute until softened, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Throw in the olives and cook for 5 more minutes.  Finally, add the spinach in handfuls, allowing it to wilt down a bit.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until all the spinach is completely wilted into the sauce.

Add sauce to pasta, mix, and enjoy!

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