Weekending: Making Sausage & Pasta

Good morning! Another weekend, come and gone- how come they go by so quickly?! This past weekend was a real treat on the food front- too good not to share!

Weekending….

I had an apt in the city after work and after that I met RM for a drink and some snacks, but not before enjoying my “to go” wine from my waxer:

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When I met up with RM, we ended up going to Nix’s Mate- I enjoyed a rose bubbly, he had a delicious beer and we ended up getting some oysters and shrimp since they were only $1 each!

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To help with my Box FIIT certification, I’m trying to get to more Box FIIT classes so I hit one up on Saturday morning. It wasn’t as hard as George’s, but it was still a great workout and I seriously cannot wait until I can start teaching my own classes!!

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I hadn’t seen my sister in almost 3 weeks so after class I met up with her and our other friend Amy for manicures in Southie. Amy and I ended up getting the same color and I love it!!

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The rest of the Saturday was spent at our friends Jessi and Chuck’s apartment doing all sorts of cooking. RM and I went to the north end and picked up the sausage and then headed over to their place to get cooking.

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We opted for 8 pounds of meat which ended up yielding about 35 decent sized sausages. RM also had the butcher grind it and season it (2 ounces of salt per 10 pounds of meat) to help save time. We decided to do 2 different kinds: regular and garlic/parsley/parmesan and I don’t know which one I liked more! The whole event was so smooth and seamless- we were all pleasantly surprised by how easy it was! In just a few hours we had loads of sausages to enjoy.

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And, if that wasn’t enough, Jessi and Chuck broke out their recipe for homemade pasta and sauce- umm hello deliciousness! Making pasta with the Kitchen Aid attachment was SO easy- RM was ready to go out and buy the adapter yesterday!

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Between the homemade sausage, which cooked in the homemade sauce and the homemade pasta, the meal was pretty freaking amazing!!

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We also played games and drank lots of vino while we waited for everything to cook. It was seriously one of the best Saturday afternoons we’ve had in a while… even though we were so exhausted by the end that we went to bed at 9:45 haha

Sunday started out with being up nice and early thanks to our early bed time so we ended up going back to the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown for breakfast. Our breakfast looked very similar to how it did the last time we went there, only difference was that RM got an omelet this time.

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I love being up and out early- getting to Whole Foods at 9:15am on a Sunday was such a nice treat! Besides Whole Foods, I went to Target, cleaned the house and then RM and I went to LensCrafters to get new glasses. Since I still love my current glasses, I opted to go for an entirely different style so I can rotate between the two. I’ll show you a picture once we go pick them up. Later that day we went to visit his mom since she just got home from vacation. We had pizza and salad and it was perfect!

And that about does it! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun or different? Did you get in any good workouts? Do you like boxing workouts? What’s your favorite breakfast item to order? Have you ever made sausage or pasta? What do you have going on this week?

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Chicken Sausage & Veggie Sauce Spaghetti Meal

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.

chicken sausage

Ingredients

  • 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.  003

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0042. 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.

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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:) ).

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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.

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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!).

005Questions for you: Do you make your own sauce? What’s your favorite pasta meal?