Hi everyone! It’s about time I finally got my “weekly recipe” post up for you! Since I knew I was not going to be around on Sunday night because of Danielle’s study abroad event, I spent a few hours of my Sunday afternoon food prepping, cooking and baking. Miranda Lambert Pandora station cranking, sunshine streaming through the windows, delicious smelling food cooking/baking… the only thing missing was a big ol’ glass of Chardonnay!
Anyway, where was I? Oh, that’s right… talking about my dinner with all of you (I get so sidetracked when I talk about wine;) ). While flipping through this month’s Cooking Light magazine, as well as some blogs, I came across an add for Al Fresco Chicken Sausages. I mentioned it to Danielle and she was totally on board for a meal with chicken sausage. Perfect! The only unfortunate thing, was that they were not on sale at the grocery store and I was not about to spend $6 on 4 sausage links. I almost scrapped the whole meal idea until I saw the Nature’s Promise brand of uncooked chicken sausage links- 5 for about $5 was still not a “deal” by any means, but it was better! Note: if you do not like chicken sausage, feel free to substitute for regular sausage or chicken breast or something else of the like!
As far as the sauce, as much as I would love to make homemade sauce from scratch, it’s just so much easier to buy a jar of it (or, take some from my parents when they make a big batch!). However, if I am making a pasta and sauce meal, I will always “doctor up” the jar sauce. What I mean by this, is that I cut up veggies and sautee them in wine and garlic and then add the jar sauce to those veggies and let everything simmer on the stove for a couple of hours. This gives the sauce some extra texture and flavor without requiring you to slave over the stove for hours.
1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
- 1/4 cup summer squash
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- Couple splashes of white wine (optional)
- Dash of salt, pepper, oregano, basil and italian seasoning (probably about 1/4 tsp. of each)
- 2 cups of jar sauce
- 2 servings of whole wheat spaghetti (or any other pasta/spaghetti of your choice)
- sprinkle of parmesan cheese
1. Chop up your veggies. I did measure this time (go me!), but feel free to use these just as a guide pending on whether you like more or less veggies in your sauce. Add a little bit of EVOO to a pot, add the onions & minced garlic. After a few minutes, add the rest of the veggies, herbs/seasoning and wine.
2. Let the veggies sautee for about 5 minutes until they just start to soften. Add in 2 cups of sauce. I used Prego since that was on sale this week:) Mix everything together and reduce the heat to a simmer level.
3. While the veggie and sauce mixture is cooking, it’s time to start the sausage. I only used 3 links because I didn’t want to waste any (I froze the other two and have plans on making some type of chicken sausage sub in the near future:) ).
All I did was brown these up and *mostly* cook them. I say mostly, because I had plans of cutting them up and placing them to finish cooking IN the veggie and sauce mixture.
4. Let the sausage, veggies and sauce simmer for as long as you desire- mine ended up simmering for about an hour before I added the sausage and about 45 minutes after I added the sausage, but you don’t have to wait that long.
5. When you’re about 15 minutes from “dinner time,” cook your spaghetti according to the back of the package.
Place spaghetti in a bowl and top with the sauce/veggie/sausage mixture. Add parmesan cheese if you wish (note: I added goat cheese because I love it so much!).