I am alive, and so is the blog, although both are not quite the same as when the last post was written. I will write about what has been going “behind the scenes” at some point: the time that I took off from blogging was filled with lots of thinking, making hard choices, and making the best of the situation.
For now I want an easy and simple come-back. Easy and simple is my approach to most meals I cook, especially now when I have a full-time job. Although I do need to have dinner on the table fast, it has to be healthy and tasty.
For this quick dinner I used Italian sausage, pre-washed spinach, roasted peppers in a jar, and good quality pasta sauce. You don’t have to use roasted peppers: a can of artichoke hearts will be great here, or a handful of mushrooms. Use whatever you have on hand, and whatever your family likes to eat. I served this alongside roasted cauliflower. If you are watching carbs or eat a gluten-free diet, you can replace the tortellini with cauliflower– this is such a versatile dish.
Here is what I used:
1 lb. Italian sausage
2 roasted peppers (from a jar)
4 oz. fresh spinach (about 1/2 of a 9 oz. bag)
1 c. pasta sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each dry basil and oregano
salt to taste
1 bag dry tortellini (9 oz), or use frozen kind
Start by cooking the sausage links over medium heat for 15 minutes, rotating so all sides get browned.
While the sausage is cooking, put a pot of water on the stove and cook tortellini according to package directions. Under-cook slightly so they don’t get mushy once you add them to the skillet with the sausage and veggies.
Roughly chop the pepper/artichoke hearts/mushrooms, or whatever veggies you decided to use. Remove the sausage to a plate, drain the fat. Add the garlic to the skillet, followed by the vegetables. Cook stirring for a minute or two, then add the spinach and pasta sauce. Add the spices at this point, cover and simmer for a few minutes while you are waiting for the tortellini to be done.
Drain the tortellini and add to the skillet. Slice the sausage and add that to the skillet as well.
To serve, sprinkle some Parmesan (or not– it is flavorful as it is).
Note: To replace tortellini with cauliflower, preheat your oven to 420 degrees when you start cooking the sausage. Put cauliflower florets on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt/garlic powder. Stir it all around and roast for 30 minutes, stirring once. When ready, add to the skillet with the vegetable and sausage.
If you make this dish, let me know in the comments how you tweaked it and how it turned out: I will try your version next! Feel free to pin it to your virtual recipe box (the “pin” button is right over the picture), or pass it along to your friends!
this recipe has been shared at