Okay on to the challenge. I chose these five ingredients from the suggested items and made them into a delicious meal. My ingredients are pasta, asparagus, sausage, green pepper and fresh mozzarella. Just as a side note if you suggested an item for a specific use but it was used differently, we didn’t forget about it. We will be working it into our recipes in the coming weeks. Thank you for your suggestions and don’t forget to add your suggestions for next week. At the end of the month we will be doing a drawing for those who have participated.
This week I will feature Whole Wheat pasta with Sausage and Asparagus and Roasted Pepper and Mozzarella Bites. This makes for a perfect Italian meal served with some warm bread. Enjoy!
The first recipe is an appetizer, it is easy to make a delicious. Best if served immediately. I used green and red pepper but you can use whatever you have on hand. The recipe calls to make about 20 bites but I just wanted a sample so we chose to make a few. It seems like a lot of steps for this recipe but they go quickly and I did most of them while making the pasta dish.
2 bell peppers
1 tub fresh mozzarella, cherry tomato size
salt and pepper or another favorite seasoning
3-4 fresh basil leaves
Set oven to broil. Line baking sheet with foil. Place the whole peppers on the foil and place under the broiler. When the tops of the peppers have turned black rotate until the entire pepper is black. Remove from oven and place in a plastic bag and seal for about 10 minutes. Remove peppers to a cutting board and let cool. After the peppers have cooled, the skins will slip off easily. Remove all of the skin and then cut in half. Remove stem carefully so the peppers do not tear. Slice each pepper half into about 5-6 strips. Season pepper strips.
Drain 20-22 mozzarella balls. Place mozzarella in small bowl and drizzle some olive oil over the cheese. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and other seasoning (if you choose) on the cheese. Don’t be skimpy on the salt. I added the chopped basil to this mixture. Toss.
Take each mozzarella ball and wrap with a strip of pepper. Secure with toothpick and place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining cheese and peppers.
Recipe adapted from The Italian Dish
The next recipe got rave reviews from the group I served it to. I always love serving new dishes to company, even though it can be risky if it is the first time you make something. Even Jackson liked this dish so it may work for your whole family. The recipe calls for turkey sausage but I couldn’t find the turkey sausage that was also the sweet italian sausage at the store I went to. So I went with mild sweet italian sausage. Enjoy this pasta with a piece of warm italian bread.
8 oz. Whole Wheat Rotini or Penne Pasta
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
10 oz. (3 links) sweet italian sausage, casing removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (these were added during serving time to adjust to taste needs)
1 pound thin asparagus, ends snapped off, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (I left juices in with tomatoes)
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup parmesan
Cook pasta in salted water. Drain, reserving a little pasta water. Set aside.
In large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage and brown 5-8 minutes, break it up into bite sized pieces as you go along. Spoon meat onto plate and set aside.
Add remaining olive oil to skillet, add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently.
Add asparagus, cook for 3-4 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Pour in tomatoes and cooked sausage. Heat through, 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add pasta and stir to combine. If a little dry, add some of the reserved pasta water.
Spoon into bowls and serve with parmesan cheese.
Serves 3-4 people.
Recipe adapted from Cheap, Healthy, Good
NOW we’re ready for your next suggestions…give it to us!
What’s your go-to ingredient for a last minute dinner?
What is something you always find yourself cooking with and you need a fresh new idea?
What was one of your favorite ingredients growing up?
Leave your suggestion as a comment on this post. You have until tomorrow at noon CST (Thurs. March 10). The prize for the drawing at the end of this month is the Our Best Bites Cookbook.