One of my favorite dishes as a child was spaghetti with spicy Italian sausage, peppers and onions. Made with pork sausage, the dish can be a bit heavy and since the peppers and onions are mostly water and shrink during cooking, I feel like I’m not getting enough vegetables in the meal.
This is my grown-up version of that childhood favorite. I make healthy substitutions, using whole wheat pasta instead of regular, turkey sausage instead of pork, and adding a large serving of broccoli rabe to the mix.
I sourced my spicy turkey sausage from DiPaola Turkey Farm, a local grower. If you can’t find local turkey, a chicken sausage would be a great substitution.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flake
- 1 pound spicy turkey sausage
- 1 cup crushed tomato
- 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, rinsed and chopped
- 1 pound whole wheat, thick ribbon pasta such as fettuccine or pappardelle
- salt, pepper
Put on a large pot of salted water to boil.
In the meantime, add the olive oil to a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flake to the olive oil, stirring until soft (about 4-5 minutes). To the pan add the sausage, breaking it up as you stir. Once nearly all the sausage is browned, add the crushed tomato and reduce the heat to medium.
Once the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook to taste. Add the broccoli rabe to the pan of sausage and stir in cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Combine pasta with the meat sauce, and serve right away.
The rhubarb season is a short one. Fresh rhubarb starts appearing at the market in early May and suddenly disappears just a few weeks later. I wanted to take advantage of this seasonal fruit (which is technically a vegetable!). I’ve made strawberry rhubarb pie in the past, but this year I wanted to try something simple and fast.
Rhubarb is naturally tart and contains pectin, so it is perfect for jams, jellies and compotes. This recipe takes about five minutes of active work and results in a versatile compote- put it on ice cream, mix it into yogurt, spread it on toast, or even serve it warm over roasted chicken or turkey. The key to bringing out the tartness in the rhubarb is adding plenty of cinnamon.
If you have a crock pot or slow cooker, its super easy to make caramelized onions. Once prepped, you can keep the onions in the fridge for about a week, but don’t try freezing them; the texture will change when you thaw them out. I recommend serving the onions over pierogies, on top of steaks or burgers, or simply on good bread with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar.
Baby corn is one of my favorite foods of all time. It’s my salad bar go-to. I don’t eat it at home nearly enough.
The key to this craveable stew is texture. Chop all the vegetable to the same size, and choose a small pasta, like ditalini. The result is a potful of healthy, hearty stew that is remarkably flavorful. I like to serve it with homemade bread and twice as much baby corn as I call for below.
I almost always cook vegetarian food and beans are a staple in my house. We keep bags and bags of dried navy beans, chick peas, pintos, black beans, kidneys… you get it. They are delicious, filling, versatile and cheap. Unfortunately, eating beans can you leave you bloated. I have a tip for you to avoid this unpleasant side effect.
Glogg, or a Scandinavian style hot mulled wine, is a great drink for winter gatherings. It lends itself to large quantities, and caramelizing the sugar with the flaming alcohol is an entertaining show. It is easy to adjust the recipe below to your tastes by adding or removing spices as you please.
Squash soup is a winter staple for me. I make a big batch, and freeze the leftovers in single servings- portable and perfect for lunch at work. If you prefer a creamier soup, replace the water with milk.
Making vegetable stock. My stove is a bit dirty- that just means it see a lot of action!