I love all kinds of foods, and I have a penchant for ethnic foods. I love the exotic, bold flavors of so many of the ethnic foods from around the world. Italian foods of all kinds are always a favorite too. Lately, I have been in one of my Italian phases, where I am cooking a lot of different Italian foods. I don’t plan it this way; it just kind of happens. Larry will take down something from the freezer and I just go from there. A lot of times, when I am not sure what direction my meal is going to take, it is like an artist staring at a blank canvas, not sure of the the vision or inspiration that will come, not knowing how the final result will turn out. I get bored making the same thing in he same way all the time, so I am always looking for a slightly different take or twist on things, which adds more variety.
This time Larry took down some hot Italian sausage, in the hopes that I would make sausage & peppers. But I cook that a lot and wanted something a little different. So I went to my resources and came up with something similar to sausage & peppers, but different.
This version of sausage and peppers included spinach, butter beans and tomatoes. The emphasis on this version was less on the peppers and more on the other fresh vegetables I used. The sweet peppers and the tomatoes were from my sister-in-law’s garden. They were so fresh and tasty. There is nothing better than fresh vegetables straight out of the garden.
Italian Sausage and Vegetables
1 lb Italian sausage – we like the hot, but either kind will do
3 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1 TBSP garlic
1 cup grape or sweet 100’s tomatoes, cut in half
1 can chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1-2 TBSP lemon balsamic vinegar or regular balsamic vinegar
cooked pasta – I used penne this time
Cook the sausage first. After the sausage is cooked, add the lemon balsamic vinegar and the wine to deglaze the pan and a bit more olive oil. Once the sausage is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Add more olive oil as needed, then add the vegetables and seasonings to the pan and continue to cook until they onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and the butter beans, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. When everything is done, spoon it up over over a hearty cooked pasta, such as penne.
I love bread with dinner, so I added some warmed ciabiatta with an olive oil and lemon balsamic dipping sauce, and a glass or two or a chilled citrusy chardonnay on the side. !Buon Appetito!
Live! Love! Eat! – to quote Wolfgang Puck. After all, that’s what life is all about.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.