Pasta with a Simple Update

It’s parent-teacher conference week at school. That means weird kids, weird schedules, and weird sleep habits. Monday was a blissful day off for President’s day, Tuesday- regular, Wednesday- earPASly release for staff development, Thursday and Friday- conferences. What they don’t tell you (and what you don’t think about as a student) is how the timing for parent-teacher conferences actually works. Conferences start about 20 minutes after school ends. And if you stay in your room with the lights on and the door open, they may start earlier if you happen to have a fellow teacher’s student who wants to talk before their conferences start.

The routine moves fast, and you never really get to say everything you want for some, and for others, the time can’t go fast enough. By the end of the night, your brain is swimming with who did you talk to, what did you promise to whom, and where is dinner. Because, by now, it has been a solid 9 hours since lunch. Luckily, this 12-minute meal was a great post-conference filler. It’s packed with hearty veggies, whole grain pasta, and does not require a sauce- the cooking liquid works magic.


Pasta with pepper, sausage, and kale

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • Garlic cloves, minced (your preference- I think we did 3)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 package of Al Fresco Italian chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta
  • Parmesan  cheese
  • Crushed red pepper flake, to taste
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water (for your pasta). Bring it to a boil, and cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. While water is heating, in a large nonstick skillet, saute onions, garlic, and bell pepper over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or so.
  3. Add the chicken sausage and cook until the sausage starts to brown.
  4. Add the kale, season with salt, cover and cook 2 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and cook uncovered for 2 more minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and add pasta to the veggies and sausage.
  6. Add 1/3-1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, cheese, and crushed red pepper if you like spice, and turn to coat. Add more liquid if needed to bring things together. Cook 1-2 minutes to let everything meld.
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