I’ve mentioned before that I’m not the biggest fan of Italian food.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I love the pieces that form the Italian food puzzle. Bread? Yep. Tomatoes? Yep. Cheeses? They’re my love language.
But when you start combining the pieces of the puzzle, I’m not always carried away with the end result. I’m not crazy about spaghetti, lasagna, or even pizza. I like brown sauces more than red sauces. I think pasta is fine and good, but if I had to do without it for the rest of my life, I’d be okay with that. Just please don’t take away my bacon.
However, there are two fellas in this house who adore all forms of Italian food. I make spaghetti with meat sauce every couple of weeks just because it’s one of their favorites (that’s usually a night when I’ll eat leftovers or spoon a little bit of the meat sauce over a piece of toast or something like that). I like making lasagna because it lasts for several meals, but it’s never something that I crave. Chicken parmesan is popular with my people, too (this recipe is my go-to), but I usually only make it once every three or four months because of that tomato / noodle combo that I should probably like way more than I do.
So here’s my ongoing dilemma where Italian food is concerned: I absolutely love cooking meals that my family will enjoy (seriously. it’s one of the happiest parts of my day.), but if I’m going to spend a chunk of each afternoon in the kitchen, it’s kind of a nice bonus if I enjoy the meal, too. And I’m certainly not saying that it’s the height of earthly misery if I have to eat spaghetti – that’s not the case at all – but sometimes it’s just not as much fun to prepare a meal when you feel sort of meh about the outcome.
A couple of months ago I tried an Italian soup recipe because it struck me as something that my husband would really like, and much to my surprise, I liked it, too. The recipe called for sausage instead of ground beef, and I am here to tell you that I had no idea what a great combination sausage, tomatoes, and spinach would be (don’t judge me, people of Italian heritage – remember that I grew up in Mississippi, where we eat most of our sausage with biscuits and gravy). I never expected that the tortellini soup would teach me such a handy little lesson, but I’ve been on the look-out for Italian-ish recipes with sausage ever since.
Yesterday I made Shay‘s recipe for Sausage and Provolone Pasta, and y’all, it is absolutely delicious – one of the happiest mealtime surprises that I’ve had in awhile. In fact, Alex had taken all of two bites before he said, “Mama? I don’t know how you cooked these noodles, but they are delicious.” The recipe makes a ton, and with bread and salad, a family of four could get two meals out of it and still have leftovers. Easy and oh-so-tasty.
(Clearly I am not a food photographer.)
(However, I try not to let that stop me from taking some shockingly sub-par photos.)
Anyway. I just wanted to pass along the recipe because when you find a good ‘un, it’s fun to share. I will definitely make this dish again – because I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s an Italian-ish combo, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as my fellas did. It’s our own little March Madness miracle.
Wonders never cease.