Monday, November 9, 2009

Oops - cajun cooking in the house!

Picture a delicious, healthy baked pasta dish. Picture it having whole wheat penne in a tomato sauce of diced tomatoes, fresh button mushrooms, swiss chard, garlic and italian sausage. All topped with some shredded mozzarella and a bit of parmesan cheese baked in the oven until the cheese is gooey golden brown that melds the pasta and the sauce together. 

Are you picturing it?

Well... now picture this:

It's a good lesson on: A. Reading a recipe through; and B. Paying attention to dinner when it's in the oven instead of reading another cooking magazine. It turned out a bit cajun - that's what Chris calls something a little overcooked. 

Thankfully in the end the pasta turned out very tasty. I typically wouldn't have pasta the next night after having potatoes - but I saw this recipe, and needed to make it, and I bought swiss chard and it was already starting to wilt a bit.

This recipe is from November's Canadian Living. I am a pretty big fan of Canadian Living. I really like their recipe ideas - some of them are quite simple and easy to follow. They have a ton of recipes so you will definitely find a recipe that you like in each edition. 

It turns out that after making this, this is very similar to other dishes that I make. I haven't used swiss chard in a recipe before, but will definitely use it again. You will like this one, I guarantee.

Sausage and Swiss Chard Rigatoni*

4 tsp olive oil
5 italian sausages - removed from casings
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 can of diced tomatoes - I like the ones that come with herbs
Kosher salt
Pinch of sugar - it helps minimize the acidity from the tomatoes
1 can of rinsed navy beans
5 cups of rigatoni - * I used penne b/c I wanted to use whole wheat pasta and I haven't found rigatoni in whole wheat
1 large bunch of chopped swiss chard
2/3 cup of shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan

In a large skillet drizzle the olive oil and add the sausage. Break up the sausage with the spoon and saute for about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, salt, sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Add beans and swiss chard.
In the meantime, boil your pasta until it is el dente. Drain the pasta and add the pasta to the sauce. 
Transfer this to a large glass casserole dish. Top with mozzarella and then the parmesan. 
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and continue to cook for 10 minutes. 

And that's it. Voila it's done. Please don't overcook. :)

Jenny posted commented last night that she loves Rachel Ray - I do too! It's a great magazine - lots of awesome recipe ideas. It's also on my regular magazine addiction list. Jenny also talked about Pyrex's new magnetic measuring spoons - I found them HERE - check them out. Thanks Jenny!!! She mentioned that she was going to add this to her wish list - which got me thinking of my own wish list - sigh. Well... I have so many wishes... Chris and I are going to do things differently this year - I'll tell you more about it in a bit. I'm quite excited.

Ok - over and out. 

Enjoy the night.


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