Monday, June 13, 2011
“Go To” Sausage Pasta Toss for a Down in the Dumps Day
Everyone has a dependable dish you can always go to when things seem like they’re just not going your way, when everything seems to be piling up against you, when there’s no time to play in the kitchen and all you want is something tasty and comforting and that you can eat with a fork, not your hand. (I'm not against sandwiches at all, but when I'm feeling frumpy, I want fork food.)
This is mine.
A simple sausage and pasta dish, made fresher with a bag of baby spinach and a little fresh basil, fun shaped pasta, a couple scrapes of fresh nutmeg and a great handful of freshly grated cheese. Twenty minutes go by and the world looks better.
It’s been a helluva week. We just got back from a week long fishing trip. Great fun, great food, horrible bugs. And as lovely as it is to get away, it’s even better to come home. But in addition to the usual unpacking and laundry stuff, fate had thrown a few extras our way. My petunias were dying. Some critter trampled trough the freshly planted vegetable garden (and apparently hastily eschewed the onions,) the barn bridge is starting to collapse, begging for repair, the nine acres of yard needs to be mowed (and the lawn tractor has become testy) and it’s time to make hay.
So making this go-to meal, as simple as it is, as warm as it is outside, was still just what I needed to assure me that all's right with the world. Oh, did I mention that my computer is on the fritz? That’s what really has me bummed because how am I going to blog about all the ways we cooked our walleye? How am I going to share with you the absolutely delightful dinner my sister hosted this past weekend? How am I going to share all the new things I’m going to do with my blog, my reading list, my description of my family, my favorite cookbooks? It will all just have to wait a bit.
In the meantime, I cooked up this favorite dish and relaxed a bit. A glass of wine helps a lot, too. Tomorrow's another day and I'll be ready to tackle the world -- and plant my begonias.
Sausage Pasta Toss
makes about 4 to 6 servings
1/2 pound small-sized pasta (like shells, mini-penne rigate, bow ties)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 bag fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or couple scrapes of a fresh nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan, depending on how bad your day/week was
Get the pasta going and while it's cooking, crumble and brown the sausage in a big skillet. When it's browned, add the undrained can of tomatoes. Add the Italian seasoning -- or a mixture of dried basil, oregano and thyme. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted. Add the nutmeg. Add the cheese. Mange.