Yup, still in the cooking slump. Pasta is right up there with stir-frys in terms of being an easy and flexible alternative for a week night dinner. It is even easier when you have made homemade pasta recently, as it cooks even faster than the dried stuff (even from frozen, you are only looking at about 4 minutes). I hit up the farmers market this Sat in an attempt to get something that I knew would be relatively fresh and locally produced so that I could get rid of some of my winter flavour blahs. Although buying meat this way can be a bit more pricey than the store, I kept it very affordable by opting for sausage. I have never made my own sausage (I don't have the stuff to do it, and honestly there are so many good ones at the local farmer's market that I don't see the need to). As the star of tonight's dish, I had some sundried tomato and chive sausage. I wish I had noted which farmer it was from, but I didn't. It was just over $6 for 10-12 breakfast sized sausage, so not bad for meat.
To start with, I get a big pot of water boiling so that it is all ready for the pasta when I hit the T -4 minute mark. Next, I grabbed a big frying pan and started to pan fry six of the sausages. When they were fully cooked, I got the pasta going, and removed the sausage from the pan to cut into smaller chunks. Cutting after cooking is the easiest in my opinion seeing as the sausage stays together, but sometimes I opt to cut off the casing and make little meatballs with the sausage filling. Once cut up, I returned the sausage chunks to the pan with some plain tomato and basil sauce (just grabbed from the pantry). I like to add the sauce to the pan because it kind of deglazes the pan a bit while warming, so that all the flavor the sausages would have left behind becomes part of the sauce. By this time, the pasta is ready to be drained, and tossed into the pan to get mixed around with the sauce and sausage. Finally, it gets plated and topped with crumbled feta (as much as you like).
The whole thing takes my under 10 minutes to make. Even on days when I am so hungry I have a bad case of grouchiness I can usually manage that much time before eating.