Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spicy Peas and Pasta

Ok, so that's probably the worst descriptive title ever, as I don't think it gives you a great idea of what this post or recipe is about, although spicy, peas and pasta are all part of the recipe. I liked the alliteration though, and for lack of a better name, I went with it. I can also blame it on the name of the dish that inspired this . . .  which is simply "rigatoni" on the menu of a local restaurant. I love said rigatoni, but it's like $14 which seems absurd for some pasta and peas . . . and spiciness/spicyness(?).

So I decided to make it myself last night, and I'm going to have to pat myself on the back with this one.  This is a perfect meal for the weather we've been having lately (cold and wet). It's hearty, warm and filling. And not as unhealthy as it may sound.

olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small-medium white onion, chopped
1 lb meat*
3/4 cup peas (frozen are fine and you don't even need to thaw them)
red pepper flakes
dash of salt
6 oz low fat cream cheese
1 jar tomato sauce

1. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet (medium heat) and add the garlic and onions. Sautee until soft.

2. Add the meat and brown.

3. Toss in the peas and cream cheese.  Stir until the cream cheese has melted into the meat and there are no more large clumps of it.

4. Season lightly with salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Note: you'll notice I don't put a lot of specific measurements for spices and herbs. I don't like following recipes ver batim because everyone's tastes are different. If you like spicier foods, add more red pepper flakes. I was quite liberal with mine. If you think ketchup is spicy, like my mom, then it's best to stay away from things like red pepper flakes.

5. Pour in the pasta sauce and mix well. Cook until sauce is heated to desired temp. Remove from heat and spoon over your favorite pasta.

*I say "meat*" because the original is made with this amazingly delicious spicy sausage from a local deli, but I'm a simple girl and a girl from Florida who up until recently has been living in a one income home. So what does this mean and what does it have to do with "meat*?"  It means that . . .

a) when I have perfectly good ground beef in the house, I am not going to create another errand  just to get some sausage, even if it is amazingly delicious.
b) it's freaking cold outside and I am not leaving the house unless I have to (ie. work, going to a bar, boot shopping).
c) amazingly delicious sausage is not cheap.

So the moral of the story is, any sort of ground meat will do unless you are feeling a bit bourge-y or want to impress someone. In which case, I suggest you have directions to a local deli with amazingly delicious sausage on hand.

Bon Appetit!
The Food Whore

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