Recipe: The Italian Garbage Man
I call this recipe the Italian Garbage Man. It’s an easy and delicious “one bowl meal” that takes almost no effort, has decent nutritional value, and ensures we don’t waste food. In this iteration I used up the few remaining green beans, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, mushrooms, and a couple pieces of prosciutto I had in the fridge. All were “close” to heading for the garbage bin. You’ll see from the recipe why this dish is different every time, but that’s part of the excitement if you love experimenting in the kitchen right?
Here are some highlights:
- I used Galassi Pasta Sauce which is a fairly new arrival at our local Costco. I must say, it’s tough to believe this is “jar sauce.” One peep at the ingredients and you’ll see there’s no corn syrup or other mystery ingredients. The best way to describe the flavor is “pure.” It’s got a very rich flavor – without being heavy. It’s also GMO and Gluten Free if those things are on your list of must haves. If your local store doesn’t have Galassi yet, suggest they carry it. Or order one online. It appears that Walmart is handling their online orders so grab a jar and taste test for yourself.
- This recipe is a huge hit with the family. The kids aren’t picky – but this is a meal they rave about and are always ready to eat.
- Your recipe will vary and that’s half the fun.
- I used a little heavy cream in this version but that’s because I had it, it was about to expire, and I love how the creaminess it adds plays against the tangy flavors.
(amounts in this recipe are variable and up to you)
- Get your pasta of choice cooking.
- Sauté chicken breast strips in EVOO and your favorite Italian spices along with whatever else you like (salt, pepper, etc.) I use Penzy’s Tuscan Sunset on mine. Again…choice of seasoning is what your family likes. The sauce will flavor the chicken so your call.
- As the chicken is done, put it on a plate, dump the oil, and add your pasta sauce in the same pan (save clean up and spend more time with family) to heat it.
- In another pan, sauté your veggies in EVOO so they are all done at about the same time (Brussels sprouts take much longer than red peppers). We prefer al dente but if you like them mushy – go all the way. Same thing with the seasonings for these. Your call. I use more Tuscan Sunset, salt, and pepper. Sometimes at this stage I’ll use a squeeze of lemon juice and a tiny splash of white wine to jazz things up.
- Add red pepper flakes at any point if you like some heat built in.
- Put some pasta in the bowl, add a few chicken pieces, layer in some veggies, sauce it up, and top with a little parmesan. I topped the veggies with some crisped prosciutto pieces this time (it’s a nice touch if you have it in the fridge already).
- BOOM! The garbage man has collected!