18 March 2013

Menu Monday

Another Monday, another snow day.  If I kept a diary, today's entry would look something like this:  Dear Diary, Plans to murder the groundhog underway.  SO OVER THIS WEATHER.

On the plus side, here are some of the tasty meals that have been keeping us warm lately.  Enjoy!

Spicy Sausage with Pasta and Vodka Sauce {family recipe}
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped red pepper
1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with basil
1/3 cup vodka
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound penne pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. In a large saute pan over medium heat melt butter with oil. Add chicken sausage and brown, 3 to 4 minutes, breaking up large chunks with a wooden spoon. Add onions, jalapenos and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 3 minutes more.

Generously salt the pasta water and add the penne. Cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, add tomatoes to the sauce and bring to a simmer, for about 10 minutes. Add vodka and cream and cook a few minutes more. Toss in cheese and chopped parsley. To serve, drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Mix until pasta is nicely coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This was the first meal M ever made for me, on our second date.  He forgot the vodka, so that time it was more of a pasta with cream sauce.  Still tasty! But even better with the vodka.  Naturally.

After this recipe was recommended to me by no less than 4 people, I finally got around to making it.  We absolutely loved it, but with two caveats: first, mine was a bit on the soupy side, and I don't think it was supposed to be.  Not sure what I did wrong there.  Second, this made a lot and the leftovers weren't very good.  Although that may have had something to do with the soupiness.  Anyhoo, we loved it the night we ate it.  I served it with some cilantro lime rice and topped it off with avocado, cheddar, and hot sauce. 

Hearty Chickpea Stew with Pesto {Everyday Food, September 2012}
I was pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed this meal.  I had pretty low expectations, especially for how M would like it.  It was a quick and easy meal to put together, and it made enough for each of us to have a serving at dinner and for each of us to have lunch leftover the next day.  I used Trader Joe's Genova Pesto and a loaf of goat's milk bread for the thickener. Great vegetarian meal for Meatless Mondays.


xx BHB said...

I'm so freaking hungry right now (just pre-lunch time) and these are making my tummy growly.

Kate said...

I am finally going to start meal planning and I have quite a few bookmarked from your blog. The first pasta looks so good!

Anonymous said...

I want to eat all of those Right Now!

I suppose I'd better cook them first ... :) Thanks for the inspiration.

Portuguese Prepster said...

I'll take some of that pasta!