I have been in-and-out of this blog the past few weeks. What has been stealing me away, you ask?
Spring cleaning. If you're like my husband, you're now saying, "But it's not even spring, Gina." If you're like me, you're thinking, "Ah, and it's not even spring."
To save on dinner prep time, I also have been making batches of our favorite pasta dishes, including this new one -- Meat Lover's Macaroni. This way I don't have to spend too much time in the kitchen at night and instead can just quickly heat up dinner.
After my daughter's second birthday party, I decided to take one room at a time and give it a good deep cleanse. I told myself, it doesn't matter how long it takes you, just do it. So my weeks have been filled with mattress flipping and cobweb sucking a little at a time. And I am so happy to report that I have only one room left to do, plus all of the windows. But I can't clean the windows until it gets just a teeny bit warmer here.
The reason I decided to start so early is because every other year I started much later and I never finished because summer came and we spent so much time outside. I always had a half-spring-cleaned house. And there's just something to knowing you sucked every last inch of mile-high dust in your house into your vacuum cleaner. At least there's something to it for me.
I had some pepperoni in the fridge that I added at the last minute which really completed the dish. I think my husband ate this for dinner three nights in a row and I gave some to my dad which rumor has it, he also ate a few consecutive days. It's one of those gets-even better-after-sitting-in-the-refrigerator one of dishes.
Meat Lover's Macaroni
Makes about 8 1-1/2 Cup Servings
1 lb elbow macaroni (I used brown rice)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 leftover hamburgers (or 1/2 lb ground chuck)
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (bulk or casings removed)
2 15-ounce cans petite-diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Handful of sliced pepperoni (optional)
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (optional)
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan and heat over medium heat. Add the sausage (and ground chuck if starting from raw) to the pan and cook until no longer pink.
Remove from pan and transfer to a small bowl. Heat the remaining the tablespoon of olive oil in the pan over medium heat and saute the onion and red bell pepper for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season with salt.
Add the sausage and hamburger back the pan. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Season with salt.
Add the drained pasta to the pan and add the mozzarella to the mixture.
Mix well. Serve immediately, topping with the chopped pepperoni and some of the pecorino romano.
As I mentioned earlier, this is one of those dishes that benefits from some alone time (sort of like me), so I made it in the morning and let it sit for a few hours. I just reheated it in the microwave. I did add a touch of extra virgin olive oil while reheating it!
Question of the post: When do you start your spring cleaning?
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 533; Total Fat 22g; Total Carb 52g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 6g; Protein 31g