Preheat oven; prepare pasta recipe through step 2 - 10 minutes
-- While pasta cooks, prepare toast through step 1 - 10 minutes
-- Complete pasta and bake/assemble toast; serve - 15 minutes
Italian Sausage Cacciatore
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage links (mild or hot)
1 lb roast & steak topping vegetables (fresh sliced mushrooms, onions, bell peppers)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups water
8 oz whole-grain penne pasta (2 2/3 cups)
1 (24-oz) jar specialty marinara sauce
1. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Place oil in pan, then add sausage; cover and cook 2-3 minutes, turning often, to brown all sides. Add vegetables, salt, and pepper; cover and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onions begin to brown.
2. Stir in water and pasta; cover and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally at first, and then more often (to prevent sticking), until most of water is absorbed.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Remove sausage from pan (let stand 5 minutes). Stir marinara sauce into pasta; cook and stir 4-5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
4. Slice sausage into circles (or bite-size pieces) and stir back into pasta. Cook 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve.
Tomato Basil Toast
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 (6-oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fried peppers/onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup reduced-fat tomato/basil feta cheese
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
8 slices frozen Texas garlic toast
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop basil, tomatoes, artichokes, and peppers/onions; place all in medium bowl. Stir in cheese and olives until blended.
2. Arrange garlic toast on baking sheet; bake 3-5 minutes on each side or until toasted and golden.
3. Spoon tomato mixture over toast and serve.
-- Complete your meal with a fresh salad blend and cheese pastries for dessert.
If you don't have fresh basil on hand, you can use 1 tablespoon basil herb paste instead.