Budget Recipe: Smoked sausage with pasta or noodles and red sauce
Easy and Cheap Meal
As a mom to a family of four with a very busy schedule, I am in need of meals that are quick, easy, budget-friendly and are low maintenance. Smoked Sausage with pasta and spaghetti sauce fits those requirements perfectly. It is a hearty, nutritious meal that my whole family enjoys and I love the price of around $1.15 a serving.
Cutting costs in all areas of my life is important to me. Although my children go to a public high school, it is still very expensive with band fees and the like. As with most families, we need every dollar we can get. With this in mind, I have included some budget tips after the recipe that explains how I manage to cook this meal so inexpensively.
Another way I save money is to use my Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop as often as possible. The cooktop cuts down on my energy use by only heating where the pan is touching instead of all around the pan like a regular stove top does. The extra heat off the stove top not only heats up our house (forcing us to use more air conditioning), it is wasted energy, therefore wasted money. I have also included basic instructions and tips for using PIC cookware for those who have one or would like to own one.
I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as my family does. Happy cooking.
Vote for Smoked Sausage with Pasta
- 14 to 16 oz smoked sausage, 1/4 inch slices
- 1 jar spaghetti or marinara sauce
- 1/2 box favorite pasta
- Pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- Parsley for garnishment
- Carefully slice smoked sausage into 1/4 in pieces. This meat is not cooked so, please, use proper handling techniques.
- Place sausage into a frying pan and pepper to taste. (I am using the Nuwave precision induction cooktop for frying the sausage so I included some additional instruction for it.
- In order in ensure sausage is completely cooked follow directions on package for cooking. If you are using a Nuwave PIC, frying the sausage for 8 to 9 mins on medium-high should do it. Be sure to stir the pieces often.
- When sausage is fully cooked, drain sausage in a collender or on a plate covered with paper towels. This will get rid of the excess grease from frying the meat.Also wipe the grease out of the pan.
- While sausage is draining, start water boiling for the pasta. Again, follow instructions on the box. Add salt to taste. Be careful to not overcook the pasta or it will turn mushy.
- Return sausage to pan and add your favorite spaghetti or marinara sauce. Bring to a low boil and then turn to a simmer. If using the Nuwave PIC, start the sauce on med-high and once it starts "popping", lower temperature to 200 degrees.
- Occasionally stir the sauce while waiting for the pasta to finish. Do not stir too hard or often as this will cause the meat to fall apart.
- Drain pasta, stir to eliminate the water which will thin the sauce. The object with this meal is to have a thick, hearty sauce.
- Place pasta or noodles on plate, cover with sauce and sausages. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, parsley and/or shredded cheese. Enjoy!
The Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop has become an important part of my kitchen. It uses 70% less energy than regular stoves and is portable. I will even use the cooktop on our patio for outside meals.
As I mentioned earlier, cutting costs is imperative to surviving today's economy. In the past few years, I have learned a few easy ways of getting our food cheaper. Here are a few that not only pertain to this recipe but can be used with grocery shopping as a whole.
- Buy only when on BOGO (buy one, get one). Pasta and the accompanying sauces are very often on sale. They are also products that can be stored for a long time so stock up when they are cheap.
- Use coupons with bogo sales. Most stores will accept manufacturers coupons on sale items, some will even double it. So if a $2.00 box of pasta is bogo and you have a coupon for .50 off one box of pasta. That means that you would purchase that box for .50 (2.00/2=1.00 minus .50=.50). If your store doubles the coupon, the pasta is free. When you have coupons for a bogo item, that is the time to stock up.
- Buy at wholesale stores. There are some items that no matter how good the sale and coupons are, they are still cheaper at places such as Sams and Costco. I have found this to be true for spaghetti sauce. The only issue is you are usually limited to one variety, so I only use this when my stock runs low.
- Smaller portions. If you need a cheaper cost per serving, this meal can be stretched by using half the meat or by adding inexpensive vegetables as sides. Another idea is to actually add a second jar of sauce and use the left-overs for a meat-less second meal, a side dish or lunches.
- Left-over ideas. If the left overs will be a second meal or a lunch, add variety by using a different style of pasta or put in a tortilla shell with onions, green peppers and cheese for wraps. This also works great as a dipping sauce for bread sticks on a pizza night (usually frozen pizza at my house).
This was the package I received as a gift. it is great to have a variety of pans to use from the get-go. I use this set for everything from eggs to baked fish and steamed vegetables.
Nuwave PIC cooking tips
I enjoy using my Nuwave Precision Induction Cooktop but when I first received it there was definitely a learning curve.I hope you find these tips helpful.
- When the sausage is ready to cook, I set the timer for 7 mins and use the Mid-High cooking temperature. To get started, press the Time button once, you should see the last ) on the display flashing. To enter 7 minutes, press the + button 7 times. Then choose the mid-high button and hit start. You should hear the fan begin running.
- For simmering the sauce, I have found that the Medium button is too hot and the Med-Low button is too cool. I adjust the temperature to 200 degrees by choosing one of those settings and then press the plus and minus buttons near the time/temperature display.
- For easy clean up, let the pan cool down and run under water for a few minutes. The pan should wipe clean.
This package includes the cooktop, a pressure cooker and a fabulous cookbook. The pressure cooker has a 6.5-quart capacity and is made of the highest quality 18/10 stainless steel. The "Great Food Fast" contains over 120 of Bob Warden's pressure cooker recipes.
The digital-controlled infrared oven cooks food quickly and easily. This package includes the extender ring, cooking rack, baking pan, manual, and recipes.
© 2013 Dusty Snoke