I can not believe I am already here - my 100th post! It just seems like yesterday that I was day dreaming of having a blog and now not only am I a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher, but I have also been introduced to so many fabulous bloggers and my followers list is growing. Thank you all for reading and staying with me through my crazy adventures in the kitchen! There will be lots more to come over the next 100 posts, so buckle up, giddy up. It's sure to be a crazy ride!
Before I go any further, I want to dedicate my 100th post to a very special person- my momma. Without her, I would not know what the heck to do in the kitchen. I don't remember how I really got into cooking and enjoying it so much, but I know if it wasn't for her and standing in the kitchen with her all the time when I was younger, I would probably be burning things and eating frozen meals. We have a picture somewhere and I wish I had it to show you. I am probably about four or so and I'm standing on a kitchen chair mixing a huge bowl of pumpkin pie filling. Best part, I am in a care bear purple onesie. Cute stuff right there. Can you believe my mom still has the same bowl?! That's an old bowl. All these years later, I still hover over my momma in the kitchen when I visit so I can see what she is doing and to learn new things. Even better, now that I am out of that onesie, we can cook together and try out new recipes together! I have a feeling we'll be doing that for a long time. At least I hope so. Although, I must admit, I may be a little bossy in the kitchen and often tell her what do to. I need to work on that. Although, my mom will probably tell you I've always been a little bossy. Okay, a lot bossy. Oops. Sorry mom!
Today, in honor of my momma, I bring you one of her original recipes. Super easy, so so good and a great twist on your normal go-to pasta and sauce. You take your favorite Italian sausage (turkey or the real deal - you can even omit this and make it a vegetarian friendly dish!), remove the casings, break it up in the pan and brown it up. Take your favorite veggies (we use zucchini, onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper) and cook those up until soft. I bet spinach would even be good in here too. Add in the cooked sausage back in, add diced tomatoes some red wine (make sure you use something you'd drink!) and seasonings. Boil the tortellini of your choice (I used ones filled with pesto and ones filled with spinach). Cook, drain and add to the veggies and meat. Don't forget to save about half a cup of starchy pasta water to add to the final toss of everything. I know it might sound weird, but my mom does this so I do it too. The starchy water adds a little more liquid to the sauce, but also helps bring everything together. Don't question it, just do it! Top it off with a couple of large dollops of pesto, stir in and enjoy. Oh, and don't forget freshly grated parmesan cheese and a big glass of red wine to go with. In about 30 minutes or so, you have a super yummy meal that everyone is sure to love. At least everyone I've made this for has loved it. That has to say something, right?
|ingredients - ps. Trader Joes has the BEST deal on fresh pesto and pasta. Don't know why I didn't think to buy it there before!|
|breaking up and browning the sausage. Add a little olive oil if you want.|
|Ryan has this HUGE cutting board and it's awesome. Lots of room to cut up all the veggies!|
|veggies cooked and then diced tomatoes (juice too!) added.|
|wine + sausage + veggies. Add in about 1/2 c. wine or whatever looks right to you. I just eye ball it. Although, I might be a little heavy handed with the wine.|
|Ryan is the noodle master.|
|see, told you we had it with vino.|
Momma's Tortellini & Sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 medium zuchinni, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms (button or baby bellas)
1 package (about 4-5 links) Italian sausage (use turkey or pork, sweet or spicy)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup pesto
1/2 -1 cup red wine
2 packages of your favorite tortellini, cooked
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 starchy pasta cooking liquid
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil for cooking veggies
Parmesan cheese for topping pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, remove the casings from the sausage and place into a large pan or pot (large enough to hold everything once it's all cooked) and break up into bite size pieces. Cook until brown. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain. In the same pan, add in the onions, garlic and red bell pepper. Cook until softened. Then, add in the zucchini and mushrooms and cook until about fork tender (not too squishy here!). By this point, you should be able to cook the pasta - cook according to the directions on the package. While the pasta is boiling, add the diced tomatoes and their juice as well as the red wine to the veggies. Add in the drained sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste and the Italian seasoning. Let simmer while pasta is cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain and add to the veggies and meat. Don't forget to add 1/2 cup (or more if you like) of the starchy cooking liquid to bring everything together. For the final touch, add in the pesto and stir to combine. Serve in bowls and top with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
The best part of this recipe, besides being so easy, is that you can increase everything to feed a huge crowd or cut it back to feed just a couple. I like to make a bigger batch of this so that there are plenty of leftovers during the week. And just like most Italian food, this dish gets better with age. I really hope you try this one. I promise you will love it. My momma wouldn't give you a bad recipe. That I can promise you!