By Erin Walgamuth
AKA Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
My daughter and I were packing up the last of the Christmas decorations and it was definitely late in the day, when she asked if I was going to cook dinner soon. My first reaction was to reply with a big fat “NO”. Well ok, I didn’t say that, but I wanted to.
We had been eating leftovers for a while, and I have to say that the thought of putting together a meal wasn’t very attractive to me. I felt as if I’d been in a continual cooking marathon over the holidays and was a bit burned out, to say the least! I had not been grocery shopping in a while either, so our choice of meal ingredients was largely nada!
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The only dinner candidates to be found were one yellow onion, two tomatoes, two zucchini, a bunch of flat leaf parsley and two lonely pre-cooked chicken sausages with sun dried tomato. Fortunately we always have pasta and garlic in the pantry, and capers in the fridge. There was a little bit of grated Parmesan too. Our only other options were Cheerios or oatmeal, so yeah; we had veggies, sausage and pasta. Not bad for Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard!
Of course, I would have preferred to use four tomatoes which would have made the dish a bit saucier, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right?
You will need
12” sauté pan
Prep to finish is about 30 minutes
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced, or use a garlic press
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 medium size zucchini, cut into 1 inch dice
2 medium size ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 inch dice
1 tablespoon drained capers
3 pinches of sea salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons dried basil, or to taste
2 pre-cooked chicken sausages, thinly sliced
Cooked penne pasta for four people
Minced flat leaf parsley and grated Parmesan cheese for four people
Put the olive oil and garlic in the sauté pan and let rest while you chop and slice the vegetables and sausages.
Heat oil and garlic on medium heat and stir to combine. Add onion, 1 pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of the dried basil to the oil and garlic, stir to combine. Turn heat to medium low and cook the onions, stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes or until onions start to soften.
Add the zucchini, 1 pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of dried basil to the pan, stir to combine. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and capers and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are tender and the zucchini is al dente. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the sliced sausage and continue cooking and stirring until the sausage is warmed through.
Toss the veggies and sausage with the pasta, and divide among four dinner plates. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley, serve immediately.
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.
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