slow cooker tuscan sausage and bean soup

this is one of my favorite recipes. it’s great cold weather food. thanks to weight watchers for this one!

ingredients

16 oz turkey italian style sausage links – cut in 1/2″ pieces
2 garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium onion(s), chopped
1 medium carrot(s), chopped
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
4 cup kale, chopped
3 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
15 1/2 oz red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 1/2 oz canned great northern beans, drained and rinsed
14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup dry red wine, or water

directions

put the turkey sausage in the crockpot first. pile everything else on top and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

delicious!!

baked penne with roasted vegetables

baked_penne_lg

this has become an easy go to recipe for me. you can keep it vegetarian, add meat (turkey sausage works nicely) or i’ve even made a vegan version for my sister-in-law (i can’t even imagine eating it with out all the ooey-gooey cheese!) this recipe comes courtesy of giada de laurentiis and is one of my favorites. (note: you can substitute smoked gouda if you can’t find smoked mozzarella in the store.)

ingredients

2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cremini mushrooms, halved
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon dried italian herb mix or herbs de provence
1 pound penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

directions

preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

on a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. drain in a colander.

in a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. top with the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan and butter pieces. bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.

welcome to urbanbundle

well, after many, many months…i’m finally blogging. i couldn’t resist it any longer. i plan to post recipes, things i’m working on and photography. and hopefully some good story-telling to go along with it. i’m going to try to post things as often as possible. feel free to check back often and see what we are up to!