Wednesday, February 1, 2012

whatever is in the fridge pasta

I call this, "whatever is in the fridge with macaroni", because that is all it is. There are some staples you should always have in your home, and macaroni (any variety) olive oil (regular and extra virgin), garlic and grated cheese are 3 that will always give you a meal in a hurry. The macaroni is a filler for whatever else you want to throw in there. The olive oil is your sauce, the garlic to flavor the olive oil and the cheese to finish off the dish. Tonight I made a macaroni (I used ziti) with peas and crumbled sausage. I started by looking in the refrigerator and grabbed a few things. I saw 3 links of Italian sausage, opened the cabinet and found a can of sweet peas..I knew then I had a dinner! I added a bit of oil to a pan and took the sausage out of the casing broke it up and browned it up. I added some chopped up whites of a leek, (Great substitute for onion which I didn't have), added some more oil and about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic. When the sausage was browned, I added the peas. I drained the can but kept about 3 tablespoons of the water from the can and added that in with the peas for flavor. I let that simmer while I boiled the water for the ziti. After the ziti was cooked, I added it to the sausage/pea mixture and mixed it well, sprinkled it with some grated cheese and served it with a salad of oil and vinegar and crusty italian bread. This is the way I cook. I don't follow a recipe, I cook by feel, by taste, and by knowing what flavors meld well together. It's about trying new things, not getting too complicated and using your imagination. There is no reason why you can't make a meal with 3-4 ingredients. Some people call this peasant food, poor peoples food, or depression era food..I call it delicious! What was your latest "whatever is in the fridge and macaroni" dish? You can use so much to mix with macaroni..roasted red peppers, olives, spinach, escarole, beans, stewed tomatoes, sardines, anchovies, there is no limit to what veggie, meat or seafood you can mix into a simple macaroni with garlic and oil dish! Be creative and enjoy!


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Italian American Mom, Wife, Daughter, living life to it's fullest, and trying to preserve traditions and family values of our culture.