Tuesday, May 20, 2014

For the Garlic Lover- Garlicky Basil Pasta

My sister sent me this tasty and hearty pasta recipe she prepared on FRD2014. What's interesting is that this recipe has lots of garlic flavour and her boys love it! As she puts it, it's a quick, easy meal to make for a busy night or those evenings you just don't know what to make, but still want to serve a healthy, satisfying meal for the family. Judging by the array of healthful ingredients and delicious combination of herb and seasoning, I'm not surprise it is a winner with her family!

Garlicky Basil Pasta
Makes 6 servings

1 (454 g) package of spaghetti
3/4  bunch of spinach, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 lb. sausages of your choice, sliced 
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1/2 Tbsp. dried basil or 1-1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1 cup of pitted black olives
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Dried chilli flakes to taste (optional) 

1)  Cook the spaghetti while chopping the ingredients. Cook until al dente (firm to the bite) and drain. 
2)  Pan-fry sausages until cooked and remove from pan.  Drain excess oil and return the pan to the stove.
3)  Heat the pan with olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic. Stir-fry for five seconds and add peppers; stir-fry for two minutes or until crisp-tender.  Add basil and stir for 10 seconds. 
4)  Turn down the heat to medium.  Return sausages to pan and add the spaghetti.  Mix together lightly, then add spinach, olives, garlic salt, salt and ground black pepper then mix. Mix well, then add the tomatoes and parmesan cheese.  Taste to season.
5)  Spoon onto plates and serve extra parmesan cheese and dried chili flakes at the table.
Serve with toasted garlic bread.

Great Addition TIP: If everyone likes it spicy, add the chili flakes in the cooking process along with the garlic. Try adding mushrooms, or use diced leftover rotisserie chicken instead of sausages is also delicious.  TIPTry shredded cheddar cheese instead of parm.  

Photos courtesy of Trai Ng
My nephews lapping it all up!

You can't go wrong with spaghetti, sausage and cheese with kids. Adding an assortment of fresh colourful vegetables is a smart way to change it up and to introduce new ingredients and flavours to a dish they love already! Sometimes we keep meals bland or simply dressed to ensure our kids will eat it, but if we don't try upping the flavour system they won't learn to enjoy bolder and complex dishes that would open them up to a whole new world of foods and set them up to be taste adventurous. And honestly makes it easier for you to plan meals too. Garlic is definitely a good ingredient to start as is herbs. My nephews have always ate like champs and I'm sure that has to do with my sister constantly encouraging them to give new foods a try!

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