Spaghetti with Sausage and Arugula

…Also known as “clean out the refrigerator and throw everything into pasta!”

Which is one of my favorite meals, by the way.

 

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Here’s our cast of leftover characters (minus the spaghetti… and the sausage… even though those are both in the title of the recipe…)

Ingredients:

12 oz dried spaghetti

olive oil

1/2 a yellow onion, diced

red pepper flakes

diced peppers, I used half of a bell pepper and one holy mole pepper (yes that’s actually what it’s called… I grew it in my garden!)

2 sausage links, diced- I used a precooked, mild pork sausage

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

3 cups baby arugula

parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

In a large stockpot, cook the spaghetti according to package directions, until al dente.

In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion, peppers, and red pepper flakes until vegetables are soft. Add in sausage and brown. Pour in the red wine, making sure to scrape up any brown bits, then add in marinara sauce.

Let sauce simmer for five minutes, then stir in arugula and cook until wilted.

Serve sauce over spaghetti and top with plenty of parmesan cheese!

 

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P.S. Lately I’ve felt like my posts have lacked some, well, creativity… Between getting home from work around 7, watching the Red Sox in the ALCS (seriously guys, let’s wrap this thing up in two more games!), and taking an online class, I haven’t left myself a lot of time for cooking. But what is this online class you might ask?? I’m currently taking a Harvard class offered for free through a program called EdX (learn more about it here), called Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science. Ummm yeaahhh that is right up my alley. I’m hoping to start posting weekly about what the class is talking about, including what we’re doing in our at-home lab. Stay tuned!!!

Tomato and Blue Cheese Pasta with Steak

On Sunday my sister and her boyfriend came over for dinner and we grilled some steaks. They told me to keep the leftover meat, because they never knew what to do with it, since heating up the steak in the microwave would end up cooking it further and making it not as good to eat as the freshly cooked ones.

I love having leftover meat on hand because the easiest thing to do with it is to throw it into pasta, one of my favorite things to eat. It’s also a great way to stretch a portion of meat out further, which is a trick I lived by in college.

 

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When I take a picture I don’t really like, I tend to just slap a couple of Instagram filters on it… Totally makes it better.

 

While it’s hard to tell from the picture, the pasta ends up being coated in a creamy, cheesy, tomato-y sauce that just walks the line of being a satisfying comfort food without feeling like it’s weighing you down.

This recipe is very slightly adapted from one of my favorite Pioneer Woman recipes, and I love it because it’s so simple and easy to make. Seriously, I made it while watching the Red Sox beat the Rays in their last ALDS game, you know I wasn’t about to waste time making anything complicated or time consuming! American League Championship Series, here we come!!

Ingredients:

1/2 lb pasta, whatever shape you have on hand

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

dash of red pepper flakes

1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

2 1/2 cups baby spinach

6-8 oz steak, cooked medium rare and sliced thinly

salt and pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to directions for al dente.

In a large saute pan, heat roughly 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 1-2 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Mix in cheese crumbles and and cook until sauce is thick and creamy (literally around two minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add in spinach and stir the sauce until the spinach starts to wilt. Then, stir in drained pasta and sliced steak, stirring until pasta is coated and steak is just warmed through.

Estimated cook time? Around 15 minutes!

As a side I threw some cauliflower florets into the oven to roast, and I ate them out of my pasta bowl after I was finished so they could soak up the leftover sauce- so good!