Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta

As the cold weather draws nearer, many people will begin to serve more filling foods, like pasta and sauce. However, a lot people want more than just the typical spaghetti and meatballs and venture to try out other recipes featuring a variety of ingredients and therefore full of flavor! Here is a recipe for making creamy sausage and tomato pasta that is bound to leave mouths wanting more!

Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta

Serving Information

  • This recipe is approximately 5 servings

What You Will Need To Make Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta

  • 1lb Italian Sausages (I prefer sweet but it is your preference)
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 5 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups of Half-and-Half
  • 1 tablespoon of dried basil leaves
  • 1 box of penne or rigatoni pasta
  • Parmesan Cheese

How to Make Sausage and Tomato Pasta

Cook the Pasta

The first thing you will need to do is cook the pasta. To do this, get a large pot and add water. Use the instructions on the back of the pasta box to determine how much water you will need. Once the water is boiling, add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Then, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook the pasta for approximately 7 – 10 minutes or until pasta is at the desired consistency. Some people prefer their pasta done al dente, where the pasta is still firm yet completely cooked, while others prefer that pasta is softer.

Making the Sauce

While the pasta is cooking, you can be making the sauce, or for those that do not multi-task well, you can make the sauce before making the pasta. Before cooking the sausages, you should cut them into small bite-sized pieces. Then, brown the sausages in a frying pan. Once cooked, remove (if any) the casings from the sausage pieces. To save time, you could remove the casing before cooking and slice into pieces after cooking. Once the sausages are browned, add in the onions. Next, add the garlic and sauté for approximately 3 minutes. Once sautéed, add in your diced tomatoes and the can of tomato sauce. Cover the pan so that everything in the pan is heated completely through. Add the Half-and-Half  into the sauce in the pan and again, use the lid to heat your sauce all the way through. If you want a thicker sauce, you will have to cook your sauce longer. For those looking for a thin, yet flavorful sauce, cook for approximately 2-3 minutes. Yet, you be the judge and cook until your sauce is at the desired consistency. Add in the basil and let the sauce simmer for 2 more minutes.

Serve & Enjoy

Add the pasta to your sauce and mix so that the sauce completely covers your pasta. Serve pasta on separate plates, adding parmesan cheese as desired. Serve and enjoy!

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How to Freeze Fresh Green Beans

How to Freeze Fresh Green BeansMany people are resistant to freeze foods because they believe they will lose their freshness and will not be as good later. However, when frozen, green beans will last several months and they will not lose their amazing flavor. Here are some tips to freezing fresh green beans so that they can be used in any meal—and be full of crisp flavor!

 

Purchase Fresh Green Beans During Their Peak Season

You will want to purchase your green beans during the summer through the early fall seasons. This is when green beans taste the best and are known for their great flavor.

How to Select the Right Green Beans

You want to choose green beans that are brightly colored. The more colorful, the better! These green beans will, ideally, be blemish free, where they are not limp or shriveled. You want them firm and bright green.   

How to Freeze Green Beans

One of the most important things to remember when freezing green beans is to trim them before hand. Grab a handful of green beans and, using a sharp knife, cut off the stems. Do this for all of the green beans you want to freeze. Some people will also cut the tapered ends, this is completely up to you.

Remove the Fiber

Some beans will feature a stringy sort of fiber within the bean, located in the bean pod, that should be removed. However, if you do not see one, this means that your type of beans do not have this and you do not have to worry about removing it.

Cut into Small Pieces

Next, you should cut the green beans into small and bite sized pieces. This works out great because most recipes that feature green beans, such as a stew or casserole. You will want to cut the beans into 1 ½ inch pieces. If you know that you will not be needing the green beans to be in small pieces when you want to cook them in the future, you can choose to skip this step.

Blanching the Beans

The next step is to blanch the beans.  To do this, you will need to boil a pot of water. You will need 1 gallon of water for every pound of green beans. Boil the beans for approximately 2 minutes. If you did not cut them into small 1 ½ inch pieces, then you should boil them for approximately 4 minutes.

Freeze

After they are boiled, you want to immediately cool the beans by using ice water. Once cooled, drain beans from ice water.

Next, start putting the green beans into your freezer bags. You want the beans to be as compact as possible but still leaving about ½ inch to close the bag. Seal the bags and place in the freezer for freezing.

For those looking to preserve the freshness, or if you are using a lower quality freezer bag, you may consider using freezer tape on the seal to make sure the air is locked out.

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Quick Energizing Breakfast Recipes

mango smoothie

If you just woke up hangovered (sic), woke up at dawn to hit the gym, are currently recuperating or want to jump-start your day, the only way of making this possible is by having an energizing breakfast. Basically, such a breakfast encompasses foods that contain high amounts of healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins. To get the best out of them, here are 5 quick energizing breakfast recipes that you should give a try:

Sunny-Side Up Eggs

When making sunny-side up eggs for four, you'll need fours slices of bread, four anchovies, four eggs, Parmesan cheese shavings, olive oil, lemon, capers, black pepper, coarse sea salt and kale. To make the eggs, start by sprinkling cheese over the bread and heating in the toaster till it melts. Over medium high heat, heat the olive oil, add anchovies and mash till a paste forms. Add kale, season with salt and pepper and wait till the leaves become soft and bright green and stems tender. When done, remove and serve beside the toast. In another skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil, heat over medium high heat and crack the eggs directly over the pan. Let them cook for 2-5 minutes. When done, serve your eggs with the greens and have them topped with cheese and capers. Also, add a squeeze of olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Yogurt Parfait

Other than being an energizing breakfast food, yogurt parfait makes breakfasts less boring. To prepare a cupful, you'll need low fat plain yogurt, two tablespoons of dried fruit and flaxseed meal, unsalted raw almonds or walnuts, sugar and ground cinnamon. Start by stirring flaxseed meal, nuts and dried fruit into the yogurt and finish off by sprinkling sugar and cinnamon at the top. Alternatively, you can choose to create a layered parfait; flaxseed meal at the bottom followed by a later of yogurt, dried fruit and then another layer of yogurt and finally nuts followed by a more yogurt.

Almonds Butter and Bacon Sandwich

To make this delicacy, you'll need three pieces of whole grain bread, natural almond butter, bacon, olive oil, tart apple and coarse sea salt. When making the sandwich, you'll be required to first toast two slices of bread before spreading them with butter. Next, lay the apple over the butter and top each piece with crisp bacon. Finish off by drizzling some olive oil and sea salt on the bacon and assembling your sandwich - with the plain slice in the middle.

Fancy Fresh Toast

To make fancy French toast, you'll need two slices of whole grain bread, an egg, low fat milk, canola oil, canola margarine, low calorie syrup and cinnamon. While the pan heats with margarine and canola oil, beat and combine the egg with milk and cinnamon. Dip the bread into the egg mix and toast over a pan till it turns golden on both sides. When done, top with syrup and serve.

Re-hydration Ginger-Mango Smoothie

This quick energizing breakfast recipe demands that you use low fat vanilla yogurt (gives a creamy and thick texture), peeled and chopped mango (adds a sweet flavor), soft tofu, chopped crystallized ginger, flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed and cardamom. To make the smoothie, put all of these ingredients in the blender and puree till smooth.

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Easy Freezer Hash Browns…and a Quick Panini Press Tip

I always buy potatoes in bulk at Sam's Club because it's far more cost-effective to buy a huge bag there than a smaller one at the local grocery store.  However, I always seem to have too many and they start to sprout before I have the chance to use them.

Last night, I decided to use up the rest of my massive bag of potatoes with a quick and easy freezer trick.

Simply shred the potatoes using a grater or food processor.  Place the ones you aren't using on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Place the potatoes in the freezer and "flash-freeze" them for a few hours.

Freezer Hash Browns

Then, break apart the frozen potatoes into meal (or individual size) portions, label them and freeze them for future use.

Family Portions

...and another quick trick...

If you have a panini press you can cook your hash browns with little effort.  Simply grease your press (well) and place the "bricks" on the on it.  Within 10-15 minutes you'll have crispy hash-browns without flipping them.  Mine turned out AMAZING this way..although my photo didn't.  😉

Panini Hash Browns