One of my best friends is a woman named Susan who has never been that interested in cooking. For most of our friendship I would occasionally cook for her, and she would take me out for sushi in return. It was a good arrangement for both of us.
Recently however, Susan has started to develop an interest in cooking. I don't know whether it's because she's now a mother of two darling girls, or because she has become an enthusiastic reader of Kalyn's Kitchen, but I like to think my blog may have had some influence on Susan. Whatever the reason, I have agreed to give once-a-month cooking lessons for Susan and her older daughter Sophie, aged four. Sophie is very enthusiastic about cooking, is a very adventurous eater for a four year old, and regards me as being the absolute best cook in the world, so it seemed like a natural thing for us to do together.
Friday Susan and Sophie came for the first lesson. We decided to make Chicken Broccoli Curry Casserole, since they had eaten that at my house and both liked it. Since they weren't coming until 5:30 and the casserole wouldn't be done for several hours I also decided to make a simple sausage linguini, something Susan could easily duplicate at home.
Sophie was an enthusiastic cooking pupil. She measured curry powder, added canned soup and mayo to the sauce, and mastered the art of whisking (kind of). We had fun and made enough food for several meals for Susan's family. Unfortunately when it came time to eat, Sophie, who by this time was really tired and also being only four, decided she wanted plain noodles. However, she loved the Chicken Broccoli Curry Csserole when it was finally done.
Here's the simple recipe which produced really good Sausage Linguini, simple enough to cook with kids or great for "cooking challenged" adults.
Sophie's Sausage Linguini
(An easy recipe, designed to be made by kids, with adult supervision)
1 jar Classico Tomato Basil pasta sauce
(or use your favorite low sugar sauce)
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1 pkg. (19.5 oz.) Sweet Turkey Italian Sausage
2 T chopped fresh basil
(very optional, but I had some so we used it)
1 pkg. Dreamfield's Linguini (for non-South Beach, use any brand)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
In large deep frying pan, brown sausages in olive oil until they're firm to the touch. Cool slightly, then slice sausage in 3/8 inch slices. Return to pan and brown well on both sides. When sausage is browned, add sauce to pan. Add dried basil and oregano and simmer sauce 30 minutes, adding water if it gets too thick. Add fresh basil the last 5 minutes of cooking if using.
Cook pasta in large pot of salted water 9-11 minutes, or until it is done but still slightly chewy. Drain pasta well. Serve sauce over pasta with lots of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
South Beach Suggestions:
Even though this was designed to be a menu that would appeal to kids, if you used Dreamfield's Pasta and turkey Italian Sausage, this would be a great choice for the South Beach Diet, phase two or three. Serve with any kind of a South Beach Diet friendly salad. (Edit June 2011 - I have recently learned that if Dreamfields pasta is cooked for a long time or reheated it increases the glycemic index, so this recipe is probably only for phase 3 if reheated.)