Monday, December 29, 2008

Sausage & Peppers Rustica

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Daniel loves this particular pasta dish. In fact I think this was the dish he had right before we drove across the street to the jewelry store and I came home with a big ol' diamond engagement ring. I swear I just wanted to show him what I liked, how was I to know he was going to be feeling generous and let me keep the ring I fell in love with?? Man do I love my ring!! Thanks again Sweetie!

Anyway, this recipe is straight from Olive Gardens website so thank you to them. I have adapted it somewhat because the recipe they have listed is a bit confusing and calls for 5 cups of salsa marinara which I think is a bit much and plus I didn't have fresh basil because the store was out.Ingredients:
-Peppers- Green, Yellow, seeded and cut into strips, I used 2 of each color
-Italian Sausage (I used three links), cut on the diagonal and browned
4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1- 28oz. can of Plum Tomatoes, including liquid, chopped, not pureed
4 -clove of Garlic, finely chopped
1- 10 3/4 oz. can of Tomato Puree
Salt and Pepper
Penne Pasta

1.) Brown the italian sausage in your skillet and then cut into slices after you have allowed them to rest for a few minutes. Set aside in a separate bowl.2.) Add peppers to pan along with 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil along with two cloves of the chopped garlic. Saute until crispness is lost, but not soft. Add sausage to peppers.3.) Cook pasta as directed on box.
4.) Combine chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, rest of the chopped garlic, and olive oil, to sauce pan and bring to a light simmer. This makes salsa marinara. I also added a tablespoon of italian seasonings along with about a tablespoon of the pepper and a tablespoon of salt.
5.) Drain pasta and serve, top pasta with sausage and peppers, and salsa marinara.
I am by no means a fan of this dish, mainly because I am not a big sausage person, but a good cook always tries the food that they make and I must admit, I would probably eat a bowl of this stuff if I allowed myself. Daniel unfortunately works second shift so I will have to wait until tomorrow to get his verdict. Something tells me he is going to like it though. This recipe is definitely a keeper and yes Uncle Dan, I will make you batch sometime!!

*I would just like to mention that during the course of this evening I received a war wound. While opening the refrigerator I had a jar of pickles fly at me, shatter at my feet and during the clean up process I had a piece of glass shoved into the palm of my hand which took FOREVER to get out. Now, not only do I smell like a dill pickle but it hurts to close my hand. For the record, if I get injured again tomorrow during the dinner preparation, then I hereby cancel all of the other meals and I am ordering a pizza! :)
It has been a few days since my last post and I must admit it was due to laziness on my part. The Holidays, when your parents are all divorced and also when you have in-laws, tends to be a bit overwhelming. So many places to visit and so little time to do it in. I went to bed at 7:30 last night and could have thrown my alarm clock across the bedroom when it began buzzing at 6 this morning for work, I guess almost 12 hours of sleep was not adequate enough. Anyway, the Holidays are over and it's back to the daily grind of what I like to refer to as "Life".

This Christmas was an exceptionally good one. People have seriously underestimated my love of anything kitchen/cooking related through the years and this year they finally caught on. I love all the gadgets and gizmo's and this year I got plenty. They don't have to be fancy and they don't have to be top of the line expensive either. If I can use it in the kitchen then it will tickle my fancy. Not only did I get lots of kitchen stuff but Daniel and I both got lots of cash. So where do you go when you have kitchen tools to use and money to spend you ask?? Jungle Jim's that's where!! For those of you who are not aware of Jungle Jim's let me tell you, it's the greatest place on earth if you like to cook or eat. You think Super Wal-Mart is big, this place could hold two of them. It is 6 acres of every type of food imaginable and let me tell you another thing, you turn two fat people who a) like to cook, b) like to eat, and c) have some green backs on them, loose in that place, bad things are bound happen. To mention just a few things that made their way into our shopping cart; buffalo burgers, oysters, and a dill pickle the size of...well it's big and we will leave it at that. Of course we also got an assortment of fruits and vegetables, many of which I have never tried let alone cooked with and I am excited to say that this week on Katie's Korner we are going to be very busy using them. Take the two eggplants that I bought for instance. I have been wanting to try my hand at making an eggplant parmesan so it's now or never. We also bought a huge head of napa cabbage, you know the kind you find in Lo Mein's. We also bought a bag of rice noodles, obviously with the intent of making some sort of Chinese dish. On tonight's menu, Sausage and Pepppers Rustica. Daniel loves this dish that is occasionally served at Olive Garden and I just happend to stumble across their actual recipe. Since he picked up some nice looking peppers and italian sausage from Jungle Jim's then I figured I will whip a batch up for him. You will also be happy to know that Daniel will be making an item for the blog on Saturday. My Husband loves to BBQ and especially loves using his smoker that was purchased last year at Christmas. This man makes the best pulled pork you will ever put in your mouth and he is going to be sharing his trade secrets with us. Please see the weeks menu below and make sure you tune in to watch everything take shape. Everything with the exception of the sausage and peppers rustica and Daniel's pulled pork are items that are going to be created as I go so things could be good or they could be bad. Let's hope everything is at least edible.

Monday: Olive Garden's Sausage & Peppers Rustica
Tuesday: Katie's Eggplant Parmesan
Wednesday: Looks like Chinese, so it must be Chinese, Lo Mein
Thursday: Spinach and Chicken Pasta Toss
Friday: Garlic Encrusted Steak with Asparagus and whipped cauliflower
Saturday: Daniel's Pulled Pork, side dishes to be determined