I'm also gonna call this dish semi-homemade, because all I did was cook the pasta, saute some frozen mixed veggies and some chicken sausage slices and add pasta sauce and 'voila' yummy spaghetti is ready. Really a go-to idea when you make impromptu decisions for a picnic :-)
But if you have good ol'homemade marinara sauce/pasta sauce ready at hand, please by all means do use that and you can use any fresh veggies of your choice, you can also add cooked chicken/meat/eggs etc, its so versatile :-)
Last weekend we made a quick decision to have a simple picnic at the park. My initial plan was to make some sandwiches, but then I saw this box of spaghetti rigati in my pantry and thought I would use that up.I started boiling the pasta, meantime cut up the sausage, fried them in little canola oil, sauted the veggies in same pan, added the pasta sauce and once the pasta was done added the spaghetti to the sauce and mixed well and at the end, added 2 cheddar cheese slices on top and covered the pan and turned off my stove, allowing the cheese to melt. All done in 20 minutes.
Our little guy had lots of fun at the park...running over the grass carefree, with no baby proofing anywhere and lots of space :-) He ran behind 2 crows for sometime and then got bored, as they kept flying off before he could go and say Hi...Duh! I'm sure he likes dogs, coz everytime one would pass by he would stand and wave in full delight until he lost sight of the dog :-)
Oh and he did meet few little kids his size, who inturn were really happy to see him :-) They kept pointing at things and saying something in their own laguages...I guess they understood each other more than we understood them.
Manish and I decided to do Canoeing after a looooong time. Little M found it very boring to stand in the canoe wearing a huge life-jacket and not being able to paddle while his dad had all the fun, so he kept fussing now and then. I was scared that if I move too much the boat would topple ;-P and Manish had all the fun trying to paddle and going in all the wrong directions...hahaha!! But all over it was an amazing experience. After reaching ashore we let Manav play with the paddle for sometime so that he also feels he did something useful ;-)
We took a spot by the lake side and in the shade and happily gorged on the food. You can see how everyone literally gulped the food ;-)
You can halve the recipe if you need a lesser portion. Another dish that I've prepared using Spaghetti Rigati is this. I like this kind of spaghetti as the sauce really coats into it well.
Spaghetti Rigati with Saute'ed Veggies & Chicken Sausage in Pasta Sauce
1. Spaghetti Rigati - 1 box
2. Hot Boiling Water - enough to immerse and boil the spaghetii
3. Frozen mixed veggies - 1-1.5 cups
4. Chicken Sausage - 4-5 (Cut into slices) - I used the Chicken Sausage with Apple and Gorgonzola cheese found in Costco
5. Pasta Sauce/Marinara Sauce - 1 whole bottle (1lb or 24oz)
6. Canola oil/ Olive Oil - 1 tblsp
7. Italian Seasoning (Dried Oregano, basil, Thyme etc) - a pinch or to taste
8. Cheddar cheese slices - 2 (optional) - Thes are same as the sandwhich cheese slices
9. Salt - to taste
1. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
2. Heat the oil in a pan/kadai , add the Chcicken sausage and fry them until it turns brown.
3. Now add in the veggies and Italian seasonings and cook until the veggies are soft.
4. Add the pasta sauce and mix everything well and simmer for 2 minutes. Add some salt if needed.
5. Finally toss in the spaghetti and again mix well so that the sauce is coated everywhere on the spaghetti.(If the spaghetti looks dry, add some pasta water and toss again.)
6. Cook for 2 minutes and turn off the heat.
7. Cut the cheddar cheese into smaller squares and place them on top of the spaghetti and cover the pan/kadai with a lid and keep aside.
Manish, who isn't a pasta lover generally, really found this dish tasty, even my Little Appu ate a few strings of pasta :-) Wish I had a snap of that to prove it to you....next time!
I like adding the Cheddar cheese slices on top as that's how my mom used to do when we(me and my sis) were little kids and we used to dig out the pasta pieces coated with the cheese :-) You could add more cheese as per you choice.
Hope you had fun reading this post as much as I had writing it...So what are your plans for the weekend?