On of the favorite dinners in our house is what I call Italian Stir Fry. It’s just meat plus pasta plus vegetables with a little chicken stock and garlic.
Tonight I used tomato basil chicken sausage, tri-color tortellini, broccolini and sun-dried tomatoes. The chicken sausage was great because it was already cooked so dinner was done in no time.
This is a perfect dinner for busy days because you don’t have to spend too much time prepping or cooking, and you can use up leftover vegetables.
Here’s how I do it:
1. Put some water on to boil. We always start the water on first in our house so that is is ready as soon as we are ready for pasta (we make A LOT of pasta). If it boils before you need it, you can turn it down a bit. When you’re ready to put the pasta in, you can turn it back up and it will boil again.
2. Remove the sausage from its casing and sauté it in a large pan on medium-high heat, stirring it and breaking it up as it cooks. Once it is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside. If you’re using pre-cooked sausage, you can skip this step (just slice it up and throw it in the pan later).
3. Mince some garlic and add it to the pan, cooking it until it gets soft and smells good.
4. Add the vegetables and enough chicken stock to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the sausage back in and cover. Now is a good time to put the pasta in the boiling water.
5. In the time it takes the pasta to cook, the vegetables should get tender and the flavors will be starting to blend. Dump the cooked pasta in the pan, stir and serve.
Now for the best part – CHEESE.
Grate some parmesan cheese on top. The more cheese, the better. I bought a microplane grater a few years ago for lemon zest, used it once on a block of hard parmesan when our other grater was in the dishwasher – it was amazing. It makes tiny soft curls of cheese that melt into the pasta as you stir it. If you don’t have one, go out and get one now. It is on my list of things that will change your life (right above organic ketchup).