Ricotta Pasta with Basil and Sausage plus a veggie stew

Time to experiment, again. This time I’ll be following the recipes without improvising, for a change, but I think I’ve picked two recipes that will compliment each other well. And, it’s my first time trying either recipe.

One is from Rachael Ray, # 193 (page 170) in the 365 cookbook – see link of cookbooks for publication details – and the other is from the Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook. I’ll have to add that to my cookbook list link. I haven’t used it a lot, but just rediscovered it in my bookcase and think I’ll be trying it out more often, these days.

My inspiration for trying Rachael’s recipe is that it calls for 2o leaves of fresh basil, and yesterday, I bought a bunch of fresh basil just to have a few leaves that was called for in another recipe. (For those following this blog, I did her chicken/spinach burgers with mushroom sauce again – and again, very yummy! I used dried basil last time and it was fine, but I made the mistake yesterday of picking up a bunch of fresh basil and smelling it, and just had to buy it. What an intoxicating scent!)

Anyway – I am making Rachael’s Ricotta Pasta with Sausage. It is based on her Master Recipe called Ricotta Pasta with Grape Tomatoes, Peas, and Basil. I opted for the version with ground sausage because my husband, while able to deal with vegetarian lunches, is still really used to “meat” for dinner.

This sausage version calls for omiting the peas and tomatoes and adding the sausage. Hmmm, the recipe still calls for all that basil, which is really good for you, and also has fresh parsley, but I knew I needed a veggie dish to go with it.

I was originally going to make the baked tomatoe recipe from the Mayo cookbook, (which I have made before and liked a lot) but then realized that I had some lovely fresh green beans from our local, family-owned market (The Farmland, in Wakefield MA) and I needed to use them!

Luckily, I found a recipe for Green Bean and Tomato Stew in the same Mayo cookbook. It is very simple – grean beans, tomatoes, thyme, green onions, but I am thinking it will taste really good and light in comparison to the sausage, cheese, and pasta dish. And, not only does it have veggies, it will use those beans before they become useless for anything than veggie stock!

I bought a baguettes while at Farmland and will make garlic bread…or, at least offer it plain to be available for dipping in the stew, if I get lazy.

So, I have everything prepped except for chopping the tomatoes for the stew. It took me, probably, a bit over a half and hour just moseying around chopping stuff, etc. (Although I haven’t minced garlic for the bread yet, hence my lack of committment to the garlic bread idea.) Preparing just the green beans took about 5 minutes. You know, snapping off the ends and snapping them in half to approximate the directions saying to cut into 2″ pieces.

Anyway, time to go cook. I do love to cook. 🙂