Friday, September 23, 2011

Semi Homemade with.... Olivia?

Back in college, my friend, B, who enjoyed quite a few Olivia-made meals in his day, used to refer to me as Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade w/ Sandra Lee. I have been known to whip up some tasty meals combining some fresh ingredients with some store bought items. This mentality of mine has always played a role in my cooking. I love to cook, but because of my crazy life, I sometimes don't find the energy or the time to make "made from scratch" meals. But whatever I do make, it's pretty damn good, if I do say so myself.

Last night was a perfect example of one of my "semi-homemade" meals. After working a crazy/busy day at work, I had to do some shopping for birthdays and baby showers i'm attending this weekend, as well as running some errands. I didn't get home until around 7:30 and Shane was supposed to be home soon. Nights like these, I could opt for take-out, but we're on a tight budget, and I had a pantry stocked full of foods that needed to be eaten.

So, using what I had, and playing off an old recipe of a pasta dish my mom used to make, I made this delicious meal.

Follow my steps as I show you this meal that can literally be made in 20 minutes, and is SO creamy and delicious, you'll think you got it from an Italian restaurant.

I don't have a name for it... but let's just roll w/ it.


-1 pack of sausage. ( I used Jimmy Dean's reduced fat sausage. Try to use reduced fat or turkey sausage, it cuts WAY down on the grease, and tastes just as good.)
-1 box of bowtie pasta
-2 generous tablespoons of Garden Vegetable cream cheese spread (I used 1/3 less fat)
-1 jar of Vodka sauce
-Spinach (I'd prefer fresh spinach, but didn't have it on hand, so I used a box of Green Giant Frozen spinach)
-Minced garlic (once again, i'd prefer to used fresh garlic, but you get where I'm going?!!)
-1/2 block of grated mozzarella cheese
-Crushed red pepper
-Italian Seasoning


In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta. When pasta is finished, drain and set aside.
In a separate skillet, beginning browning sausage, adding Italian seasoning and red pepper while it cooks. (Shane and I like a LOT of kick, so I was generous with the red pepper. Regardless of how much you add, it really contributes to the flavor of the meal.)
When the sausage is almost finished, add spinach and a tablespoon of garlic and reduce heat.

Continue stirring meat/spinach and add in Vodka sauce and 2 tablespoons of cream cheese spread.
Cook on low for an additional 10 minutes, occasionally stirring the sauce.

Last, add the cooked cooked pasta to the sauce and let it continue to heat on low for a few minutes.

Shred mozzarella and sprinkle on your plate, and Voila! A yummyyyyyy meal with a ton of flavor.

And yes, I realize I was cooking for 2, but I made enough for like 10. But Shane and I both have a generous helping for lunch today and enough leftover for maybe even lunch again tomorrow. Yes, it was THAT good.

Happy Friday Everyone! Hope you all have an AMAZING weekend. I have a lot of exciting things planned....and I'll be blogging about it next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment