Well, the Pantry Challenge is going well, so far! Actually, I felt like I cheated last night. After working the greater part of the day organizing and de-cluttering, the kids reminded me we had a coupon for a FREE pizza from a local place. They didn’t have to twist my arm to convince me it was the perfect night to order in. So, free pizza, plus tip is still Pantry Challenge appropriate in my book! :-)
Today, however, I must say that I wouldn’t win any Mother of the Year awards. Why? Well, around 3PM, we were Skyping my husband, who is out-of-town, and my daughter asks, “Mom, what did we have for lunch?”
I thought, “Lunch? Did we have lunch?” Since we made (and snacked on) Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins around 10AM, I think I totally forgot about lunch. Oops! No wonder the kids were getting rowdy! Duh! Therefore, this would mean an early dinner tonight.
Earlier in the day, I cleaned out the fridge. (Can I tell you how much I am loving these homemade cleaners! Seriously, took me 30 minutes to make four different kinds, and they work fabulously!) While cleaning out the fridge, I noticed I had a container of feta cheese that needed using up. I made a mental note of this.
While we were Skyping with my husband, he rubbed it in that he was eating my family’s Gumbo that night, and asked what I was going to make. This prompted the kids to remind me about not having lunch, and I retorted, “Oh, I think I’ll make something with feta, Italian sausage, and sun-dried tomatoes.” Well, what I came up with didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes, but it was quite tasty!
I scoured the internet for recipes, finding several that sounded good. So, in typical Jada-fashion, I took this from one, that from another, a few of my own twists, and came up with a combination that was successful.
Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Feta Sauce w/ Farfalle and Italian Sausage
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1 large purple onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 (16 oz) jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
- 3/4 cup of chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups of feta cheese
- 1 Tablespoon of parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried mint
- 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 box of Farfelle pasta (bowtie)
- 1 package of Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage, sliced on the bias
- Chopped fresh basil leaves
In a large skillet, heat up olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute for 10 minutes. Add red peppers, stir to combine. (Reserve this skillet for sausage.) In Vitamix (or food processor), add mixture along with feta cheese, parmesan cheese, herbs, red pepper flakes, and chicken broth. Blend for 1-2 minutes, until creamy. Add a bit more broth, if the consistency isn’t ‘saucy’ enough. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a large pot, boil water to prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat skillet over medium-high heat, thoroughly cook sausage. To the pasta pot, add sauce, Italian sausage, and pasta. Stir gently, just to combine. Serve in bowls or on plates, top with a few crumbles of feta cheese and fresh bail leaves.