Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Case of the Monday's...

Yesterday was a crazy day. First of all, it was a Monday. Monday's are always kind-of nutty.

Second of all, I knew that if I was still in Illinois, I would have had yesterday off school. Why don't we celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day in Ohio? Why, why??

Third of all, it was the first day of spring track practice. I'll be helping out with my school's track team this year, so I was excited to get to know and run with some of the kids. Of course, I left my meticulously packed bag of workout clothes at home, so I just got to watch and cheer them on.

This also meant that I had to spend extra time getting my run in. I didn't get home until just after 7pm. That is very late for me.

And then we still had to make dinner. We have been surviving on leftovers and frozen pizzas the last week or so and I was ready for some home-cooking, or at least as close as we could get.

When we were in Columbus this past weekend, we spent some time in our favorite bookstore, Barnes & Noble. Not only did I get to browse the cookbook section, but we even had gift cards! So, I picked up this little treasure.

I know what you're thinking. "Sara!! Don't you see? It's just a scam! All the recipes just use all Trader Joe's ingredients so that you will help their company make money! And, it's not like you can just run down the street to pick it up; you have to drive 100 miles to get there. And with the price of gas, that is just not reasonable."

I know, I thought that myself, too. But, browsing through the book (with the help of my mom), we decided it was a good investment. A little peer pressure always seals the deal. And, we had a gift card! 

So, last night for dinner, we were inspired by Trader Joe's "Pesto Penne with Arugula." My Business Man started on it as I drove home from the gym, and we finished cooking it together. Start to finish in less than 25 minutes! That's what I call a good weeknight meal.

The recipe calls for Trader Joe's Pesto sauce, but you could substitute any brand or even home-made. I have never made home-made pesto, but it is on my bucket list of things to make before I die. Yes, I am only 22 and I have a bucket list of recipes/dishes to attempt in the kitchen before I die. (That could make a fun blog post!)

The recipe basically combines cooked penne pasta with sauteed sliced chicken sausage, pesto sauce, and fresh spinach. The spinach wilts from the warmth of the pasta, and makes for a delightful green flavor. (The original recipe called for arugula, but we had spinach on hand, so that's what we used. Arugula would give it more of a peppery taste than the spinach did.)

Yes, we might have added two new Anthropologie bowls to our collection. In addition to yellow and green, we now have a salmon and teal color. What can I say, I am beginning to love bowls. The funny thing is, my mom-in-law loves bowls, too. I guess you marry people who are like your mothers? 

We both gave it two thumbs up! Garnished with some fresh Pecorino-Romano cheese, this was super yummy. Quick and easy, healthy and nutritious. If only I hadn't burned the garlic bread...

Pesto Penne with Spinach

  • 12 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 package chicken sausage, sliced
  • 8-oz package pesto sauce
  • 3.5-oz fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping


Boil pasta according to package directions. While pasta is boiling, pan-fry sliced chicken sausage to lightly brown on both sides. When pasta is finished, combine cooked pasta, pesto sauce, chicken sausage, and spinach. Cover for 2-3 minutes to allow spinach to wilt. Garnish with parmesan cheese.


blbjakcoates said...

Sounds great, especially that delightful green flavor...

Kristin said...

At least if you collect bowls you can use them on a regular basis and they STACK! I have started to collect coffee mugs in all shapes in sizes. I think Kyle is about ready to kill me. They are practically falling out of our cabinets because we have so many.

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