What's Cooking This Week? Summer Garden Pasta & More

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Photo by jess2284
I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredient's I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week - my weekly meal plan and grocery guide. This way, I can make the most of my ingredients and my leftovers.

Last week, smothered onions got double use in a Blue Cheese Burger and Spicy Turkey Tacos. This week, caramelized bell peppers are stuffed into an Italian Pepper & Eggs Sandwich and served alongside Skillet Roasted Sausage.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Tilapia w/ Citrus Bagna Cauda & Tomato Salad
  • Italian Pepper & Eggs Sandwiches
  • Skillet Sausage w/ Baby Potatoes, Peppers & Onions
  • Capellini w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic & Oil
  • Sausage, Fennel & Caramelized Onion Tart

    Pantry Items

  • Oil (olive, extra virgin, canola, peanut)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • 1 tube tomato paste
  • Mayonnaise
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Chicken stock
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers

  • 2 6oz tilapia filets
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage (I like chicken, turkey or low-fat)
  • 2 oz fontina cheese
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package mixed greens
  • 4-6 baby red potatoes
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 good-quality hero rolls
  • 1 package whole grain cappellini (angel hair, thin spaghetti)
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry
  • 1 small can anchovy filets (need 1 filet or use anchovy paste)


    Day 1 - Tilapia w/ Citrus Bagna Cauda & Tomato Salad recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentis

    Cook 1 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 minced anchovy filet and stir until dissolved. Add 1 small clove minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp orange juice, 1 tbsp thinly sliced basil, 1/2 tsp each of lemon and orange zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Heat grill pan to medium heat. Brush fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook, flipping once, until just opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

    Meanwhile, toss two handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes with thinly sliced red onion, torn fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

    Spoon bagna cauda sauce over cooked fish and serve with tomato salad.

    Day 2 - Italian Pepper & Eggs Sandwiches
    *Makes leftover Caramelized Peppers for Skillet Sausage

    Heat skillet over medium heat and coat with a mix of butter and olive oil. Add 2 sliced bell peppers and 1 sliced yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
    *Reserve half for use in day 3 and leave the remaining half in the skillet.

    Whisk 6 eggs with a splash of water and season with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in 2 tbsp parmesan cheese and add to skillet.

    Scramble gently until eggs begin to set up. Cook eggs to desired doneness.

    Split rolls and spread with a bit of mayonnaise. Divide eggs among sandwiches and serve hot.


    Day 3 - Skillet Sausage w/ Baby Potatoes, Peppers & Onions
    *Uses leftover Caramelized Peppers

    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil. Add halved or quartered baby potatoes and season with salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until potatoes are softened and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

    Remove potatoes from skillet and add 2-3 sausage links. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Mix in 1 clove minced garlic and leftover peppers and onions. Continue cooking until sausages are cooked through. Remove links from pan and slice. Return to pan and stir in a squeeze of tomato paste, a splash of chicken stock, and chopped fresh basil. Return potatoes to pan to warm through.

    Serve hot.

    Day 4 - Capellini w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic & Oil

    Cook 2 servings of pasta to al dente according to package instructions.

    Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat generously with olive oil. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper, cooking until fragrant. Add cooked pasta and toss in halved cherry tomatoes, freshly torn basil, parmesan cheese, and freshly ground pepper.

    Serve garnished with parmesan and more basil.

    Day 5 - Sausage, Fennel & Caramelized Onion Tart

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry dough to a large rectangle. Place on baking sheet and use a knife to lightly score a rectangle 1 inch from the edges. Use a fork to pierce inside the rectangle. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove 2 sausages from casing and add to pan, cooking until browned. Remove from skillet and coat lightly with oil. Add thinly sliced fennel and onion. Season with salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.

    Remove baked pastry shell from oven and top with fennel mixture. Sprinkle on crumbled sausage and shredded fontina. Bake until cheese is bubbling and pastry is golden, about 10-15 minutes.

    Serve hot with mixed greens tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.



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