Baked Italian Penne

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 ox penne
  • 1 lb ground mild italian sausage
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I like the fire-roasted kind)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. 
  2. Boil salted water. Cook penne and cook 11 minutes. Drain. 
  3. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic. Saute while breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add mushrooms, and sauté 3 minutes. Add pepper, Italian seasoning and tomatoes to the skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. 
  5. Combine sausage mixture with pasta, spinach, mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Pour into 9×13″ baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese on top. 
  7. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. 

Notes: 

Recipe Origin:  Back of the pasta box recipe. I was surprised at how good it is.

Bratwurst and Kraut in Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 4 1/2 – 8/12 hours | Yield: Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs red new potatoes (about 18), halved if large
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use my own, not store-bought, and I put it frozen into the slow cooker)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or whatever kind of white wine you have!)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 bratwurst links
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Toasted dark bread (like pumpernickel)
  • Whole-grain mustard or German Senf for serving

Directions:

  1. In a slow cooker, mix together potatoes, kraut, onion, frozen broth (do not need to thaw), wine, caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. Nestle the bratwursts in the vegetables. 
  2. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. (*Note: I like it on high for 4.5 hours)
  3. Sprinkle everything with parsley and serve with toast, butter and mustard.

Notes: I’m pretty sure all the Germans I know would be appalled by this, but that’s ok with me.

Recipe Origin:  Real Simple, modified.

Lamb Tagine in Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 4 1/2 – 8/12 hours | Yield: Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
  • 1/2 cup cup pitted green olives
  • 2 cloves garlic, or 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour (I like White Lily)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup couscous
  • Chopped pistachios
  • lemon wedges
  • fresh cilantro if you have it

Directions:

  1. Mix together the lamb, carrots, onion, apricots, olives, garlic, flour, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 cup water together in your slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook until lamb and vegetables are tender, on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. (*Note: I like it on high for 4.5 hours)
  3. 10 minutes before you serve it, cook couscous according to package directions.
  4. Serve the lamb on the couscous with the pistachios, cilantro and lemon wedges

Notes:

Recipe Origin:  Real Simple, added more carrots, modified spices and changed timing around a little.

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 (1 to 1 1/2 lb) pork tenderloins
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme leaves, or dried
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 apples, sliced (Granny Smith, Pink Lady or McIntosh)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TBSP butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Trim tenderloins of any silver skin.  Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub all over with 1 TBSP of the oil and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Rub until both are evenly coated.
  4. Heat 1 TBSP oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add pork tenderloins and cook until evenly browned. This should take about 12 minutes.  Transfer to large plate.
  5. Add 2 tsp oil to pan. Add apples and onions, stirring lightly until browned around edges, about 5 minutes.
  6. Rub pork all over with mustard, sprinkle it with 2 tsp of thyme and pepper and rub until evenly coated.
  7. Add remaining tsp of thyme to apples and onions and stir. Then place pork on top of apples and put into oven. Roast 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer pork to large plate and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest about 10 minutes.
  9. While pork rests, put apples and onions back onto the stove and turn heat to medium. Add chicken stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about half. Add butter and stir until melted.

Notes: This is a great recipe. We ate it with pasta, which was a bit weird. Next time I might eat it with rice. Leftovers were amazing!

Recipe Origin:  Inspired Taste