Let me start off by saying I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE to cook! It’s one of my most favorite things to do. I’ve been cooking since I was old of enough to know what being nosy meant. You know, when you just sit there staring and salivating over juicy, succulent goodness and the cook (momma, granma, auntie or some other woman in the family) says, “Why are you so nosy?” They think you’re trying to listen to their conversation, but really, you want to know… WHAT’S IN THE POT?!
Welcome to my life. I always wanted to know, what was in the pot. What are you seasoning it with? How long do you leave it on for and most importantly, what does it taste like?
Over the years, I’ve experimented with different flavors, textures and temperatures. I am proud to say that I left the “I want my food burnt to a crisp” club years ago and am able to enjoy a nice medium-rare to medium steak. My family (excluding my little sister – I turned her on to it) are still running in that club hard and strong…smh. But I digress. Can’t save the world.
Recently, I’ve been blessed to be busy and put into motion the things I love to do. Unfortunately, it just made me too tired to cook like I used to. I missed it. The food I was scarfing down, wasn’t nearly as nutritious, yummy or inexpensive. Last night, I’d had enough. I was going to make the most delicious vegetable chunky garden pasta with fresh veggies I’d picked up from my local Farmer’s Market (the veggies there are sooooo much cheaper and even fresher than your favorite grocery store). I like my pasta with a protein so I bought some turkey Italian style sausage. I like sweet Italian pork sausage best but substituted so that I could share with a friend who is not pork friendly. Bless his heart.
My measurements are based off of years of experience pinching and sprinkling, handfuls and a half of this and half of that’s. I’ll try my best to give you the proportions I used but this made quite enough to eat for lunch and dinner for 2 days.
Anyway, for about $10, I gathered these ingredients:
Chunky Garden Pasta w/ Turkey Sausage
Prep Time: 5 min. Active Time: 20 min. Total Time: 25 min. Serves: 4
3 cloves of fresh garlic
3 plum tomatoes
1 white onion (chopped)
Half a bunch of asparagus (chopped)
1 sprig of basil (about 2 1/2 leaves)
1 whole portabella mushroom (chopped)
1 pack of Sweet Italian Sausage (Turkey or Pork) – sliced in half inch circles
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
1 box of thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
Scallions for garnish
Garlic salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper or chili pepper
Olive oil (OO)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente (this means not boiled to death). Drain pasta.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle enough OO until it coats the pan. Add in your sliced sausage; season with salt and pepper to taste; cook until both sides have browned about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove from heat and place in a bowl to rest.
3. Drizzle a teaspoon more OO into the pan and add in your chopped asparagus; stir for 3 minutes until its coated with the fat and OO mixture until bright green; add a pinch of salt; remove from heat and place in a separate bowl. Asparagus should be crunchy.
4. Add in your onions, garlic and 1 teaspoon of OO; bring flame down to medium-low heat; cook until translucent scraping the bottom to join seasoning and onions; as the onions sweat, add in chopped portabella mushrooms; cook until tender; stir in chopped plum tomatoes; after 5-7 minutes; add sausage and sauce. Sprinkle in cayenne or chili powder, sugar and chopped basil; Simmer for 5 minutes; turn off the flame and add spinach, folding sauce over leaves.
5. Plate your pasta; add chunky garden sauce with sausage on top of pasta; toss asparagus over it along with chopped scallions for garnish.
Eat and Enjoy~
Mine turned out like this and it was amazing! A glass of Merlot would compliment this just fine. Try it and tell me how you enjoyed my recipe!