As I mentioned yesterday, I'm serving up a "desperation menu" this week in order to eke out a bit more time between shopping trips. A survey of the pantry revealed a bunch of cans of mushrooms (I prefer fresh, but I keep canned on hand "just in case") and a lonely box of rotini. I buy "cheese scraps" from my deli (psst- I once scored gruyere for $3.99/lb this way!) and, in my last pack, I found a reasonably-sized chunk of provolone. I knew I had some chopped green peppers hanging out in the back of my freezer.
But meat? Hmm... what meat to use? Chicken didn't sound right with it. I'm fresh out of ground beef. No Italian sausage on hand. Pepperoni's not substantial enough. Hmm.
I reconsidered my whole plan. For Sunday's after-church brunch, we had pancakes and sausage patties. What if I just made fewer, thinner patties? Would anyone complain? (Answer- nope.) I used a half-pound of my regular breakfast sausage for those patties and saved the rest.
Here's how it goes:
Baked Rotini with Sausage, Mushrooms, Peppers, and Provolone
1 box rotini (mine was 12 oz)
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb Italian sausage OR 1/2 lb regular sausage PLUS 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cans mushrooms (or 8 oz fresh would be yummy)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2-3 oz provolone cheese, grated
Prepare rotini according to package directions for al dente. Don't overcook it as it will be going in the oven later on. Meanwhile, brown sausage (and spices, if applicable) in large skillet over medium heat. Drain excess fat. Add peppers and mushrooms and cook just until peppers are tender. Remove from heat. Stir spaghetti sauce into the meat and veggies. Add this sauce to the cooked and drained rotini. Spread in baking dish and top with grated provolone. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melty and bubbly.
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