I truly love discovering quality foods to cook with…recently I came across Applegate Farms Breakfast Sausage at my local Whole Foods Market. The sausages are really, really, really good. Really. So, I thought, why limit myself to just breakfast? Inspired by my dad’s recipe for a 1960s favorite—Egg Noodles and Sausage Toss—I devised this recipe. It’s a hit, except with my son who dislikes green things in his food. Oh well, like so many good-for-you foods, in Sam’s case, the spinach is optional.
Savory Cavatappi with Pork Sausage & Veggies
- 1 package (16 ounces) Cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta (or try bowties, penne, etc., any shape will do!)
- 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided
- 1 package (8 ounces) Applegate Farms Classic Pork Breakfast Sausage
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes (any colors and varieties), halved
- about 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- small basil leaves, optional
Cook the Cavatappi according to package directions. Before draining it, reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Drizzle it with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the reserved cooking liquid, and toss. Cover the pasta to keep it warm.
While the pasta is cooking, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet, and saute the sausage over medium low heat. Remove the sausage to a cutting board. Slice the sausage diagonally into 1 inch pieces.
Keeping the heat on medium low, add the onions and garlic to the pan, and saute them for a few minutes until they soften. Add the tomatoes and cook them for 2 minutes, then add the sliced sausages. Next, add the spinach and cook it until it just begins to wilt. Be careful not to overcook it, since it will become mushy and lose its brilliant green color.
Pour the sausage mixture over the pasta, and gently toss it. Sprinkle it with the Parmesan cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste, and toss it again.
If you like, add some small basil leaves and a sprinkling of extra Parmesan cheese to each serving.
This recipe lends itself to all kinds of good veggie variations, so have fun experimenting!
Joe, Heather and I attended the Fancy Food Show recently and were tempted by all the tantalizing new flavors and products. Rubs, marinades, spice blends…FLAVOR was everywhere! A particular standout were the offerings from Saucy Mama, maker of marinades, dressings, sauces and mustards. We sampled some of their popular items such as Lime Chipotle Marinade, Sesame Ginger Dressing, Cracked Pepper Marinade and Chipotle Mustard to name a few. They were all chock full of zest, spice, and character.
Saucy Mama’s motto is Make Every Meal Extraordinary, and that is just what we decided to do. We took Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade, combined it with pork, barbecue sauce and brown sugar, tossed it into the slow-cooker and created a fantastic Pulled Pork recipe. It is a little bit sweet, a little bit sour and a lot spicy hot!!!
Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Makes 8 Servings
3 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast or pork butt
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bottle (12 oz.) Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
8 sandwich rolls, split
2 cups prepared cole slaw
– Place pork roast and onion in large slow-cooker.
– In small bowl, stir together Lime Chipotle Marinade, barbecue sauce, brown sugar and 1/3 cup water. Pour over pork. Cover and cook on LOW 8-10 hours.
– Remove pork from slow-cooker. Using a knife and fork, pull meat into shredded pieces. Place shredded meat back into sauce in slow-cooker and stir. Keep warm until ready to serve.
– Divide pork mixture evenly between split rolls; top with cole slaw.
I tell you, without a kitchen, my new found friend is the Crock-Pot. I made Pork Chops with Sauerkraut, a blast from the past from my childhood! My Mom used to make this in the oven. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t touch it, but today — I love it. And in the Crock-Pot, the pork is so tender, it slips right off the bone. Caraway seeds and bacon– my secret ingredients!!! OK, I know that bacon is not the best thing for you, but boy, does it add great flavor. You’ve got to live sometimes!!!
– I added some baby potatoes, halved to the sauerkraut mixture. You can also add sliced carrots.
– If you are not a caraway seed fan, just eliminate them.
– Use turkey bacon if you don’t want the extra fat and cholesterol.
– Recipe can be doubled to make 4 servings.
Here’s the recipe:
Makes 2 servings
3 slices bacon
1 bag (16 ounces) sauerkraut
1 small onion, sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 center cut loin bone in pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
– Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, reserve bacon drippings.
– In 5 to 6 quart Crock-Pot, place sauerkraut, onion, brown sugar, caraway seeds and black pepper. Crumble bacon over sauerkraut mixture and add reserved bacon drippings; stir well.
– Place pork chops over mixture. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours.