As the weekend rolled around I was craving something fresh, hearty and Italian. The result was a sort of "everything" stew I threw together using ingredients already in my fridge. The next day for lunch I heated up some leftover stew and made a delicious caprese panini to eat with it. Both are SO simple to make and effortlessly delicious. Yum!
Italian Sausage Stew
1 package fresh Italian sausage
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
4 carrots, chopped
4 or 5 tomatoes, chopped
1 can cannelloni beans
1 zucchini, diced
1 quart low sodium, low fat chicken broth
whole wheat pasta (shells or spirals, to taste)
several handfuls of fresh spinach
1 handful fresh basil leaves, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Squeeze sausage meat from casings (this will be very easy with fresh sausage) into the pot, crumbling with a wooden spoon as you brown the meat.
2. Add onions, garlic and carrots and saute with sausage until the vegetables start to look a bit golden, about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Pour in chicken broth. Add zucchini, tomatoes, beans and pasta. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a nice simmer. Cover the pot and cook until pasta has reached the desired tenderness.
4. Stir in spinach and basil until just wilted.
5. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve!
whole wheat bread
1 "ball" of fresh mozzarella cheese per sandwich
1 handful fresh basil leaves
balsamic vinegar, to taste
1. Lightly toast your bread.
2. Layer up basil, tomato & mozzarella the way you would with any other sandwich. Drizzle insides with balsamic vinegar to taste.
3. Place sandwich in a George Foreman grill (or panini maker, if you're fancy like that) until you have nice toasty grill marks on each side.
Congrats to Sharon for winning the Seven Blooms Giveaway! I will be emailing you shortly :D