Monday, March 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Veggies

coarse salt and ground pepper
6 ounces Italian style cooked chicken sauage, thinly sliced
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch squares
1 medium red onion, halved and cut into 1 inch squares
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound whole wheat egg noodles

Preheat oven to 450, with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. On two rimmed baking sheets, toss sausage, vegetables, thyme and oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 25-30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Meanwhile cook noodles until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Toss with meat and veggies. Loosen with pasta water as needed and season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Green bean, cherry, almond and feta salad

This a slightly altered version of one of my all time favorite salads!

For salad:
Butter lettuce
Harticot Verts (fresh petite green beans), blanched
slivered toasted almonds
dried cherries
feta cheese, crumbled

For dressing:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons blackberry jam
1-2 Tablespoons of sugar (depending on how big your sweet tooth is)
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
dash of salt

I always make this much dressing to last for the week. Put together the components for the salad and drizzle with dressing... you may not even eat the main course and eat the salad for dessert- it's that good!
p.s.- you can use frozen green beans, but using fresh makes ALL the difference. This wasn't my favorite salad until I tried it with the fresh green beans.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


2 large cans crushed tomatoes (I actually use the large cans of marinara sauce from Trader Joe's)

1 small can tomato paste

2 lbs. ground beef

1 Tablespoon oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

1 8 oz. container sliced crimini mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, crushed

3 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. pasta

parmesan cheese for serving

In a large pot, pour in oil and heat on medium-high until shimmering. Add onions, bay leaf and parsley. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and italian seasoning. Cook until mushrooms are cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Add garlic and stir. Once garlic is mixed throughout, aadd the ground beef. Cook until beef is browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir. Pour in two cans of tomatoes (or marinara sauce) and stir. Salt and pepper sauce. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for the time it takes you to boil pasta.