We were going to make tuna noodle salad to have for dinner on one of these hot summer evenings. Hubby likes to put raw onion in these salads; I can do without. But we have Vidalia sweet onions in the pantry and these are easier to eat raw. Hubby says to let him make the salad as he knows how to. I abide by his wishes and agree to just cook the elbow noodles so they would be cooked and chilled for his return home from work.
But this did not turn out to be tuna noodle salad made with elbow pasta…
So first of all, I found no elbow pasta in my pantry. I had two whole boxes in there recently, or so I thought. I did have these curly pasta, cavatelli, capatelli, something like that. I cooked all of that up; it was almost the entire pound package.
Hubby comes home and I start looking for the tuna. We have no tuna in the pantry; we have only one can in the Camper. This is not enough so he searches through the fridge for his ingredients. He leaves the tuna out altogether.
Can you guess what is in there? I have no clue what spices and herbs he used. But it was a very tasty dish and we had it for two suppers.
I do know some of the ingredients. He used broccoli, green pepper, Vidalia onion, shredded cheese, chunks of cheddar cheese, chunks of a beef summer sausage, and carrots.
I spent a morning organizing my recipe notebooks in which I had collected clippings and printings of recipes I have used and/or want to try. It was quite interesting going through the most recent collection. I removed some that were duplicative and that I would not really use again. I have another one that also has “classic” recipes from my early days as a wife and mother. I did not glean through that one. When these are changed up it is kind of like losing the ambiance of the thing. I have three of my mother’s notebooks. I wonder if my daughter will do this? I gave her one to start on but…?
In organizing the two notebooks I came across this newspaper clipping from a year or so ago. In deciding what to cook for supper I wanted to use Italian sausages and thought this recipe could be the inspiration for supper. We like pasta dishes that have more “stuff” than the pasta.
I gathered what I wanted to use. I did not have fresh greens (Swiss chard) nor cannelini beans but that never stops me from going forward!
- 3 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages in links (my addition)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz pkg of baby portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped (my addition)
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in halves
- 1 cup frozen spinach (my substitution, but I like cooking with spinach)
- 1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans, drained (substitute for the canellini beans)
- 1/2 cup of broth
- olive oil for the skillet
- 8 ounces whole wheat fusilli pasta (less than the pound of the newspaper recipe)
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- grated Romano cheese to serve (at son’s suggestion)
First put on a big pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package.
I sliced up the sausage links. This is easier to do when the meat is partially frozen.Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown the meat. Be sure to cook it through. This takes about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that all gets evenly cooked. Meanwhile chop the vegetables. When the sausage is browned remove from the pan and drain most of the fat. Saute the onion and the garlic in this pan with a bit of the fat. When fragrant and caramelizing add the mushrooms, tomatoes, and beans.
Stir the mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the broth, the spinach, and the sausages to the pan and simmer while waiting for the pasta to finish cooking. This should cook for another 10 minutes.
Blend in the drained pasta, add a shake or two of red pepper flakes, sprinkle on the Romano, and dinner is served:
This was a big hit with hubby and son who were home for dinner. Which means I will make this again. This serves six. Son had two helpings. I put the remaining two servings in a freezer container for an “emergency meal” for the future.
Thoughts for changes that would be nice: use more spinach (or other greens of choice), use canellini beans (or less than a full can of pinto/brown beans), artichokes could be added, and an addition of black olives would be spectacular!