Italian Sausage and Pasta - Cooking From Scratch

Feeding a family of six on a limited budget can be tough at times. Cooking from scratch has been a life saver for me. This Italian Sausage and Pasta recipe has been a favorite of ours for a few years now. Pasta is a food that is good for you, filling, easy to make and inexpensive. One can only eat so much spaghetti though, so I have had to get creative in my use of pastas.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound ground Italian sausage

1 medium sweet potato

1 lb of pasta, rigatoni works really well with this dish

1 clove of garlic

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Brown the Italian sausage, breaking it up while it is cooking (use a large pan). While the sausage is cooking peel and dice the sweet potato, and get a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. When the sausage is done, use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage, leaving a tablespoon or so of the grease from the sausage. This adds a nice flavor to the sweet potatoes. Once the sausage is removed, add the sweet potato, pepper and minced or pressed garlic clove. Saute on medium-low heat until tender.

Once you add the sweet potato to sautee, add the pasta to its pot to be cooking. The two should be done around the same time. When the pasta is done, remove a ladle full of the pasta water and add it to the sweet potato pan. At this point add the sausage back to the pan with the sweet potatoes. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan as well. Stir everything up well. Top with cheese and serve.

I like this dish for many reasons, but it is easily adapted for my daughter who is allergic to dairy. We serve all the dishes and add the cheese at the table for those who want it. The colors look so pretty all mixed together and it feeds a lot of people easily. You can also substitute butternut squash with this recipe as well. I am always trying to get more veggies into my kids, especially something orange that is not a carrot. This allows me to do that. There are also so many different shapes of pasta and the kids really get into what shape we are having for dinner. Any shape with work well with this dish.

The cost of this dish in minimal. Pasta $.75 a box, sausage $1.00 for a 1/2 pound, sweet potato $1.39 a pound right now, garlic clove $.10, parmesan cheese $.10 and pepper minimal. Total cost for this dish is around $3.00. Add some applesauce or peas with it and it will still keep your total under $4.00. That is very good for a dinner meal. This feeds my family of six a dinner and several lunches of leftovers for my husband to take to work.

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