09 June 2009
One of my favourites
In the summer, fast meals that don't heat up the kitchen (much) are the best. The great thing about this meal is, it's fast, easy, not too expensive, healthy, and great for any time of the year. Pretty much the perfect meal! This is all you need to make it:
Enough bratwurst (or your sausage of choice) for your family. This is barely enough for mine, so I added an extra pepper, but normally I'd do three peppers per package (5 sausages) of bratwurst. Use a variety of colours. It makes things pretty. Also one onion per 5 sausages, or more if you like. A vidalia is good, but even the regular ones are nice and mellow once they're caramelized. I usually use my kitchen shears to cut the bratwurst. I cut them on alternating diagonals, rather than straight across. You could just slice it lengthwise before slicing across. Anyway, you should end up with pieces that are about a half inch in diameter. Don't make them too big, or they'll take forever to cook.
You also need to roughly chop the peppers and onion. You want pieces that are about 1" square - no smaller. Put the peppers in one bowl, the onion in another bowl, and the sausage in a third. This is good to do at naptime, because at this point all your prep work is done, and then later you can just throw it in the pan. Once the prep is done, this is what you should have:
When you're ready to start cooking, put on a big pot of water for the pasta first. You can use any kind of pasta for this meal. I love it with linguini, but Aldi's doesn't have whole wheat linguini. I only use whole wheat, it's part of what makes this a really healthy meal, so I tried some different types. The rotini is good, and we also like it with the little tubes. I think they're called penne?
Anyway, start water for the pasta. Then, on another burner, heat a frying pan with just a little olive oil. That's just to keep the sausage from sticking when you first put it in. Fry the sausage, 'til the pieces are done. If there's a tiny bit of pink in the middle at this point it's ok, because they'll get cooked a bit more later.
Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon. Check the pasta water, and pour in the pasta when it starts to boil. I used the entire box. You may want to add a bit more olive oil to the pan. Add the onions. Stir until they begin to get brown:
Notice that I wasn't super picky about getting all the sausage out of the pan. Next, add the sausage back in. Stir for a few minutes to let the flavours meld. Once the sausage is completely cooked, add the peppers into the pan and cover with a tight lid.
Now at this stage you have to make a choice. My family isn't crazy about cooked peppers, so I let them steam until they're just hot through, but still crisp. I stir the pan a bit to get some of them in contact with the heat, but really I barely cook the peppers at all. If you really like the way the cooked peppers taste, you can cook them alone, then add the onion and sausage back in and let everything cook together for a few minutes.
It's done! Drain the pasta and serve, being sure to spoon some of the pan juices over each helping. It's delicious, and takes about a half hour if you're a fast chopper. Cutting everything up is the most time consuming part.
A fast, healthy, easy meal works for me!