Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fridge Clean-Out Pasta

I’ve been on the road so much lately, that it’s been a while since I’ve made a home cooked meal, and quite frankly, I miss that. Right before our Cali trip, I was eager to get rid of a few things in the fridge and the pantry, so I made my own version of what I call the “fridge clean-out pasta.” Basically consisting of a few random ingredients that surprisingly paired well together, I created a dish that my dining companions coined as “restaurant quality.” They may have just been being kind, but I must admit that it was tasty. Here’s the recipe, which you can change around based on what you have in the house.

Fooditka’s Fridge Clean-Out Pasta

Ingredients (serves 3)
1 package of whole wheat pasta, such as spaghetti
1 cup of baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 pieces of Calabresa Brazilian sausage (or any sausage you have on hand), chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 big handfuls of basil
1 large garlic clove
Pine nuts or pumpkin seeds
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Sautee onion in a large non-stick skillet with olive oil, until softened. Add mushrooms and sausage, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until slightly browned. Add the tomatoes at the very end, until slightly softened.

In the meantime, make the pesto. Place the basil and the garlic clove in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add olive oil and the nuts or pumpkin seeds, until the mixture has a creamy consistency.

Combine the pasta with the cooked veggies and add the pesto. Feel free to add a ½ cup of pasta water to form a sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with a fresh basil sprig.

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