Pasta e Fagioli

{i <3 soups}

PastaeFagioliNSD

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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Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup

{the hearty soup}

I don’t know if I have mentioned it before in past posts, but I have a large obsession with kale.  I always try to sneak it into all my dishes.  Bryan isn’t the biggest fan, Chase actually tolerates it, every other day.  I am pretty fascinated by the health benefits of incorporating kale into my diet.  I want my boys to reap the benefits too so I try my best to use it in place of leafy greens when possible.  Chase wasn’t around for this soup, but I think he would have eaten the kale and enjoyed it too.  However, Mr. Kale was not the star of this soup, but a component.  It basically was a chicken noodle soup with a twist – sausage instead of chicken, potatoes instead of noodles, kale instead of celery.  Okay, I guess that doesn’t seem to make much sense being just a “twist”.  Let’s just call it a delicious, filling, and healthy soup.

I was in the mood for soup, what else is new, but knew I wanted to use some items with depth.  Sausage has a tendency to weird me out slightly, but the complex flavors inside settle my uneasiness about the food.  I especially enjoy spicy sausage and lately Bryan and I can’t seem to get enough of the spicy chicken sausage.  For this recipe, I opted for the pork variety as I was unsure if a chicken sausage would dry out in a soup.  I plan to experiment with a jalapeno chicken sausage soon.

tip:  if using pork sausage, be sure to pat dry to remove excess grease or else it will settle on the top.  you can see a few grease drops in my pictures due to the lack of proper de-greasing.

I originally planned to make a spicy sausage and potato chowder, but was really inspired by the recipe posted on The Candid Appetite.  Jonathan’s beautiful pictures and quirky writing made me admire in awe and laugh.  Check out his site for some great recipes and amazing photography skills.

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{click here for the recipe}

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Three Cheese Pasta with Italian Sausage

{oh so cheesy}

Nothing beats comfort food like macaroni and cheese.  The cool & breezy weather called for something warm, comforting & also quick as it was pumpkin carving night [see here for post]!

So I have a confession about my experience with this recipe… Confession #1:  my sauce did not turn out as I had planned.  Confession #2:  when I cook I sometimes go really fast because I can’t wait to try it in the end.  The latter resulted in the first confession.  In the recipe directions, you will notice that I BOLDED the word slowly when I talk about adding the cheese.  My hastiness and urge to pile spoonfuls of creamy, cheesy macaroni into my mouth resulted in me dumping the cheese in all at once.  BAD. IDEA.  My sauce immediately separated and the cheese became one giant clump.  I was so mad.  I flapped my arms (like my sister usually does during spouts of frustration) and claimed the recipe was a failure.  After significant arm flapping, I calmed myself and began to fix the sauce.  I add a bit more milk and increased the heat and vigorously whipped the sauce.  It slowly came back together, but it was not as it should have been.  So in conclusion to my confession, definitely add the cheese in slowly!

I added a few bits of fresh spinach to the baking dish to add a little veggies.  You can add any type of vegetable really and any type of meat to this dish.  It is very adaptable to your current cravings or dietary needs.

Chase deemed this dish his first, second, THIRD (he could not decide) favorite dish I make, spaghetti & Cincinnati chili taking first and second place.  All three pasta dishes… hmm, doughie?  So there you have it, firsthand evidence that this dish is kid friendly!

What is your go-to comfort food?  Share with me – I am on a mission to try to not so doughie-ize  comfort food favorites.

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{Click here for the recipe}

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