Cooking On A Budget: The Great Meal Stretching Ingredient: Pasta

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Great Meal Stretching Ingredient: Pasta

Pasta is one of those ingredients that is so widely used to create amazing and wonderful entrees. Add readily available ingredients for a hearty, satisfying meal full of flavor.
By 2010 there was a big buzz about whole wheat pastas and so many manufacturer's of whole wheat pasta were readily available in just about any supermarket across the land.
Whole wheat pasta contains more fibers, it's better for the digestive system according to the experts. While whole wheat pasta is the healthier choice over plain semolina pasta, I'm still in love with the original.

This is just a simple meal that you can make for a family of 8 and it won't break the bank. Make your own batch of sauce and you use part for this dish and can freeze the rest for another meal. Or purchase an on special 2 for $5.00 at a leading grocery chain. Cost per person for this meal: $1.81.
  • 1 pkg. (5 or 6 links) sweet Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb. frying peppers (about 4 large ones) - cut in slices
  • 1 large sweet onion - cut in 1/2 moon slices
  • 1 box of hearty pasta - penne, ziti, rigatoni
  • 1 qt. spaghetti or marinara sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes - or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  1. Cut out the veins and seeds of the peppers and slice. Take the long strips and cut those in half.
  2. In a large deep skillet over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan. Brown your sausages on all sides. Takes 2-3 minutes per side. When they are done, remove to a waiting plate.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and add in the onions and peppers. Let these cook and wilt down for about 20 minutes covered.
  4. While that is happening, slice the sausage links into bite-sized pieces. You'll note that may not be cooked all the way through. Not to worry.
  5. Next add the sausage back into the pan with your red sauce. Add in the crushed red pepper flakes for flavor.
  6. Cover and simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes.
  7. While that is simmering, make your pasta according to the manufacturer's directions. Drain the pasta well - do not rinse.
  8. Add the pasta to the skillet, stir to coat and serve in bowls or on plates.

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