Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinner with the Yungs: $23 for a party of four

Sometimes when I'm stressed or just have some me time, I find cooking to be very therapeutic.

After a long day, I thought it'd be nice to prepare something simple yet delicious for dinner. As a college student, the go-to for a simple meal is always pasta. I was just hoping my pasta was good enough for my family's high standards.

The grocery list from Food Emporium:

This is for an easy to make pasta dinner:
16 oz pasta
~1lb sausage (I used spicy Italian, but if you're looking for something with less saturated fat, opt for chicken sausage or turkey meatballs)
1 onion
3-4 zucchinis/ yellow squash
sauce- I happened to find a good roasted pepper pesto. I prefer buying "home made" looking sauces rather than jars of tomato sauce (I usually find them flavorless)
6oz chicken broth
garlic, olive oil
Fresh mozzarella

Start boiling the pasta in water (don't forget to add salt!) while you prepare everything else.
Cut the sausage links into bite size pieces, and same with the onions and zucchini.

First sear the sausage until it looks about 75% done, then I take it off the pan and you can use the same pan with a bit of olive oil to sautee the garlic. Then add the chopped onions to the garlic, and when that browns a bit, add in all the squash/zucchini.

When all the vegetables look about 80% done, add the sausage back in as well as the sauce and the chicken broth. Mix it all together, and cook until everything done. Finally, mix in the drained pasta (after running it through cold water to avoid it sticking together) and then top it off with chunks of fresh mozzarella.

This is a great dish with flavor, and something that's easy to eat and isn't too heavy. As always, adding more fresh vegetables to a dish is always a plus. For this pasta, grape tomatoes, fresh peppers, or portabello mushrooms all could've been added or substituted for the zucchini and squash. The fresh mozzarella really does it!

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