Pasta e Fagioli

{i <3 soups}

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Fall has officially started, on the calendar and weather-wise.  I love hot hot days (preferably by a pool or beach), but I also love the beginning of fall.  To me, it seems like a cozy time of the year.  Jeans & a sweatershirt, soups, candles, and colorful leaves.  Clearly I already embraced the fall flavors when I made my Apple Cinnamon Bread and I plan to continue experimenting with them more and more.

Last weekend, we took our annual trip to the apple orchard which has become one of my favorite annual traditions.  We got to pick all types of apples, it was a great weekend to go!  My thinking cap for apple recipes is still on and I hope to post some new recipes on them soon.

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Since I started my blog, soups have appeared several times.  I believe in one post I talked about how I disliked them growing up.  There are endless recipes for all different kinds of soups, I can’t imagine how one can dislike them.  Typically, my soups are brothy or creamy so I decided to try a different base with a tomato sauce.  In addition, I never have tried to make an Italian soup before.  I wanted to create something meatless for Monday and this can be made meatless, but I really liked the heartiness and spiciness of the sausage.  Feel free to leave it out, but double your beans if you do (2-15oz cans).

I think my food hiatus has come to end and my food love is back again… for now… if you read my last post, you are aware that my food and cooking enthusiasm comes and goes.  So stay tuned for more recipes and not so doughie tidbits.  Oh and hey!  Great news!  My blog’s 1st birthday is next TUESDAY – you will really want to read then because I have a little giveaway going on!

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pasta e fagioli
Recipe by: Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 15 minutes   |||   Servings: 4  |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients
4 oz (3 links) hot turkey sausage
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 cups organic, low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup organic tomato sauce
1 cup uncooked whole wheat pasta shells
1/2 cup Romano cheese, shredded + more for garnish
1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Directions
1.  Cooked pasta according to directions on box, cooking al dente.  Set aside.
2.  In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Cut the casing off of the sausage and add to the pain.  Use a wooden spoon to break apart the sausage.
3.  Add the garlic and oregano once the sausage is nearly cooked and saute about 2 minutes.
4.  Add the chicken broth, water, and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil.
5.  Stir in the beans, cheese, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, pasta, salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes.
6.  Serve with additional cheese and fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

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Quick & Simple Spinach Manicotti

{a weeknight meal}

Now that my parsnip & carrot soup was gone (no one else wanted to eat it) I decided to get back into the kitchen.  Weeknights always go by so fast.  My 45-minute commute causes me to get home at 6:45pm (with mild traffic, heavy traffic well that just makes me crabby).  When Chase is with us I try to cook each night.  It is a time when the three of us can sit together at the dinner table and time can, hopefully, slow down for a minute.  On nights with Chase, I try to come up with quick dinners so that not so much time is spent in the kitchen, but together.  The kid has a pretty large palate for an 8 year old so I’m not serving “kid foods” which is great.  I think it is important to grow up being adventurous with food and to expose kids to all types of flavors.  I especially encourage lots of veggies and minimal fat.

Tonight I decided to create my quick and easy spinach stuffed manicotti.  The “semi-homemade” meal is very easy and simple Italian weeknight meal.  The manicotti shells were served with a slice of garlic bread – made by Bryan :)  I typically serve a vegetable with all meals, but the shells were stuffed with a ton of spinach, which my family loves.  The weather outside was perfectly crisp, but still warm.  Bryan suggested eating outside on our balcony and so Chase gathered the candles.  We enjoyed our romantic dinner for three outside on this beautiful night.  Enjoy!

MAINS

{Click here for the recipe}

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