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When I’m Sick Of Boring Spaghetti

April 10, 2011

In my last post I mentioned how I get sick of having pasta all the time. In a little twist of irony (or rather abysmal meal planning on my part), that was pretty much our only option last night.

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it, but I did want to get something ready for when BF got home. So I rummaged around the freezer, pantry and fridge, and this is what I came up with:

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Cannelini Beans and Creamy Tomato Sauce (even the name is a mouthful)

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 medium green pepper, diced*

2 large cloves garlic, diced

1 package Italian sausage (usually five sausages)

1 6oz can tomato sauce

1 jar pasta sauce (I had about 3/4s of a full jar, so I used that)

1 14oz can cannelini beans

1 tbsp ricotta cheese (that’s what made it creamy, you can omit that if you don’t have or don’t want it)

olive oil

salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

1 lb spaghetti

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Set a pot of water out to boil for the pasta. While the water is heating:

Sauté in olive oil over medium heat onion, green pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes until soft, about 5 minutes. Slice Italian sausage into rounds and add to sauté pan. Brown for about ten minutes. Add the 6oz can of tomato sauce, stir in and allow to cook together for five minutes. Add the jar of pasta sauce next, stir in and allow to cook on low heat for ten minutes.

At this point, hopefully the water for the pasta is boiling. Go ahead and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Drain and rinse (to eliminate a lot of the salt) the cannelini beans and then stir them into the sauce, then allow to sit over low heat for another ten to fifteen minutes. Right before the pasta is ready to drain, take about 1/4c of the pasta water and mix it into the sauce. The starch from the pasta-water helps the sauce stick to the spaghetti. Plus it tastes really good.

If you’re using the ricotta, mix it in a few minutes before serving.

I was really happy with the way this turned out. It was a little different from the boring spaghetti-and-red-sauce we have a lot (thank you, picky eater!) and the beans made it really filling, allowing me to stretch this one out for leftovers and probably even frozen meals because it made so much.

*Did you know that you can buy diced green peppers in the frozen section of your supermarket? I did not. It’s an excellent savings compared to the $3.99/lb green peppers are from the produce section. The frozen bag cost us $1.85.  If I could only successfully grown my own darn peppers we’d be set!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2011 9:25 pm

    Your recipe sounds really good. I get bored with spaghetti also. You know you can cut and freeze your own peppers also. I go to the farmers market by myhouse in the summer time and buy the bruised and over ripe green peppers very cheap. Then I take them home and cut out the bad parts and dice the remaining parts and freeze. For a little work they are darn near free. And no preservatives!

  2. April 11, 2011 12:54 pm

    That’s a really good idea, Debbie. Thanks! We have a produce stand pretty close that has boxes of their almost-bad veggies and fruit. I’ll definitely have to look into that. It might also be a good way of getting some otherwise-expensive fruit for canning and jam-making (til my peach tree comes through!!)

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