Thursday, June 20, 2013

Italian Wonderpot

It's been awhile since I've done a post about cooking, so I'm pleased to report that I have a new recipe to share! I have been on the go so much lately, so that's involved making some of the same go-to recipes on a regular basis (I swear, I could eat this spicy sausage pasta forever if someone let me;). However, now that I've got a couple weekends that are much more lowkey, I've been looking for recipes and figuring out what new things I can try. I haven't made any major dietary changes or anything, but I've been considering a few more recipes with less dairy in them. This is HARD for me. I love milk, cheese, cream, you name it. I can't say for certain, but sometimes I feel as if my body doesn't like dairy as much as it used to. Perhaps it's that or some other type of food allergy, but sometimes I just feel icky. No doctor has told me this or anything, but I just know a lot of people who have cut out certain foods and feel way better, so I'm thinking about it. Don't quote me. I'll probably never fully commit to it, but just a thought process. I've also been working out with some of L's workout videos, and man, my body is feeling it ALL over! It's a good burn. I just hope I can stay motivated. I'll let ya know how that goes. ;)

Anyway...... I found this new recipe on Pinterest called Italian Wonderpot that intrigued me, especially because I miraculously had all the ingredients on hand! And, no dairy like most of the other pastas I make. Sometimes I like to push myself a little outside my comfort zone, and this recipe did just that, mostly because of the diced tomatoes. I made some modifications from the recipe I found, which is funny, because she made a few modifications from the one that she found. Don't be alarmed by the seemingly large amount of modifications I made. Most of them were really minor and didn't change the recipe at all. Anyway, I'll provide some pics and the original recipe (with my changes noted). Feel free to let me know if you have any questions! :)

 Most of the ingredients!
 Add pretty much everything. I tried mimicking the photo from the recipe I found. I think it looks cool! :)
 Stir everything up and submerge it all in the liquid. I was a bit scared by how much red there was, but as you'll see in later photos, it really lightens up and isn't as overtaken with tomatoes as I was afraid of!:)
 Get it boiling!
 The original recipe does not call for Italian sausage, but I like a little meat, and it was a great addition. This the point I started browning the sausage. Probably 7-10 minutes before it was done.
Add the spinach!
 Finish browning the sausage!
 See it starting to thicken a bit? It's all coming together!
 I added the cheese here, but then also some to my individual bowl.
Here's where you can also add the sausage if you choose to go that route. Done!
 The end result! Wish I could have gotten a cooler pic, but still gives you an idea!

  • 4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth (I used chicken broth because I had it.)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz. fettuccine (I used linguine and think linguine is better for this anyway.)
  • 8 oz. frozen chopped spinach (I used less than half that amount, and I used fresh.)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I used two smaller cans, which was about the same amount. I may cut back on that next time, only because I'm not as big on tomatoes as some people. They're not too overpowering or anything, just a personal preference for myself!)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (I used frozen diced onions because I had them - worked well.)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (I used 1/2 tsp because most recipes are made with wimps in mind, and I prefer spicier! ;) Sadly, the extra 1/2 tsp still didn't really make a dent, but it's okay because there is a healthy amount of flavor in the recipe.)
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 oz. Feta cheese (I didn't measure. I just used crumbles I had on hand.)
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, browned (***The original recipe doesn't call for Italian sausage, but I used a separate pan and cooked a pound of hot Italian sausage to add to the rest of the stuff once it was cooked. I would highly recommend this. I think it totally makes the dish better!***)

  • Add the broth to a large pot. Break the pasta in half to make stirring easier later, and then add it to the pot. Also add the canned tomatoes (undrained), olive oil, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper. (As a note, the original recipe said to put the spinach in at this time too. However, I didn't put the spinach until about 5 minutes before the pasta was done because I didn't want it to get all gross. The woman I got the recipe from said she'd wait to put it in until later the next time she makes it too.)
  • Make sure the ingredients are submerged under the liquid, place a lid on top of the pot, and then turn the heat on to high. Allow the pot to come up to a full, rolling boil over high heat, then remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium.
  • Allow the pot to continue to boil over medium heat without a lid for 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. (Mine took slightly longer than this. It's okay if there's a little liquid that's still in the pot at the end. I'd recommend it so the pasta doesn't get all pasty/gooey.) 
  • Stir the pot every few minutes as it cooks to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom, but avoid over stirring which can cause the pasta to become sticky and mushy. The pot must be boiling the entire time. After the pasta is cooked, crumble the feta cheese over top and serve.
So... There ya have it! It was super easy, and it's very good. I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe and highly recommend adding some sausage, or maybe even some chicken, to give it a little more flare! :) I can see why people would like it even without the extras though, so do whatever you prefer. If you try it, let me know what you think!


rlzimmerman said...

Love this recipe! Going to try it right away! Thanks Renee!!!!

Renee said...

Thanks Laurie!! I hope you like it! :)

Amber Buttram said...

Trying it tonight! Gotta tughten our belts this week and i have all these ingredients on hand except for feta, I have parmesan.

Renee said...

Hope you liked it, Amber! Just a pretty simple and tasty meal, and I"m sure Parmesan would be great too!