Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Speedy Meals: Linguine with Sausage and Peppers

School is back in session as of last Wednesday, which means that life has shifted into high gear around these parts. Since I am not alone in trying to juggle life and work, while still having time for a decent and (relatively) healthy meal, I thought I would share my mission for this school year: to make some speedy, balanced, and cheap weekday dinners so that the hubby and I can still make time for the family table.

It may sound old fashioned, but the act of sharing at least one meal a day together is really important to me. My family ate dinner together every night, and now Ryan and I do too; we don't have T.V. to distract us while eating, so our dinners are the time for us to share about our day and really talk to each other. This is especially true during the weekdays, when I often have work to get back to as soon as dinner is done.

But I find I don't look forward to lingering over a meal if I have spent too much time cooking. So I really want to strive to make some dinners that are quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive. My plan is  to use as much of the produce that we grow as I can, to make meals that lend themselves to leftovers, as well as to utilize tools like the Crockpot.

This first speedy meal came about courtesy of some sausage we had left over from a weekend barbecue and Everyday Food: Great Food Fast.

(This cookbook is great, by the way. It is organized by the seasons, and even though it is waaay underused around here, the few things I have made from it has been easy and turned out well.)

So without further ado, Linguine with Sausage and Peppers, which you can whip up in about 30 mins.

  • 1 lb linguine (I used whole wheat to try to up the healthy factor)
  • 1 lb turkey sausage, casings removed (I used what we had on hand: some kind of chicken sausage and chorizo, and the casings stayed on)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 yellow or red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups arugula, torn

Bring some salted water to a roiling boil, and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1-1/2 cups of pasta water. 

Meanwhile, cook the sausage in 2 tablespoons of water in a skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, and cook an additional 7 minutes or until sausage is cooked through. (You can skip these steps if your sausage is already cooked like mine was.) 

Add the garlic, bell peppers, and 1/4 cup pasta water. Cook until peppers soften, about 6 minutes. 

Add 3/4 cup of pasta water and the butter; stir to combine. 

Transfer pasta and sausage mixture back to the pot. 

Add the arugula, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. 


What's your favorite weeknight meal? Is there a cookbook, a tool, or a go-to source that you rely on to get you though the week? 

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