Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Recipe: Sausage and Mushroom Pasta

My overall goal to learn 50 new dishes this year is going super well. I don't plan to share all of them here, just the ones I could see making again. Out of 50 brand new experiments, I consider myself happy if 2/3 are good enough to be repeated, and so far I have done far better. As of today, I am down to 42 more.

This is an Italian style sausage and mushroom pasta - super easy, super tasty. I got the recipe here. Budget Bytes has become a go-to recipe site for me, I have several more bookmarked to try. I only adjusted a couple of things from this recipe. I used fresh oregano and fresh basil, as I am trying to get in the habit of using fresh when I have the opportunity. I really believe it made a huge flavor difference. I also used hot Italian sausage - I prefer the flavor, but I also feel like it seasoned the whole dish super well. I didn't add any extra salt or pepper at all. My sausage was locally made, and less firm, so there was more oil in the bottom of the pan. I also cooked 4 links, but only sliced three for the final dish - one was lunch. More oil = more unhealthy but more flavor. I also sauteed the garlic and onions and mushrooms in the oil a little before adding the tomato. Finally, a friend recommended I partially cook the pasta and add less stock so I could prevent mushiness.

You can see, my sausages are bigger and crumblier. Still yummy.

I sliced mine thickly because it wasn't as firm - it doesn't matter in terms of flavor. I think next time I would consider just removing it all from the casing and browning it like ground meat.

Mixing in onion, garlic, and mushrooms in the oil.

Added tomatoes and partially cooked pasta. I used ziti because that is what I had on hand.

Finished. Not particularly fancy looking or refined...but damn tasty. This turned out absolutely fantastic, and it reheated really well too. I've been on a mission to use up the excessive amount of carbs in my pantry, and this was a great help. Seriously, I have no idea how I got POUNDS AND POUNDS of pasta, rice, and other grains...but I have a feeling I will be spending the next six months using it up. 

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