That’s what Nate called this dish. It’s ’cause he hates peas. He’s done what he can to make SJ hate them as well. It worked at first, too, but SJ’s resilient. :)
The problem with vegetables these days is that they’re rarely integrated into the meal. I’m trying not to get to education-y on you, but integration means that the veggies (and the rest of the dish) taste better because of them. We don’t do this, though. We throw veggies on the side, if at all, as a healthy afterthought. Not the worst thing in the world, but not really appealing to kids (or grown-ups), either. The creaminess of this sauce, matched with the spiciness of the pepper and sausage, demands the peas and carrots which offer texture, sweetness, and amazing flavor… not to mention health. Sneak those veggies in!
So how’d I do it?
- 1/2 lb. italian sausage
- 1 cup shredded carrots (you could probably got lighter, if you wanted)
- red wine (optional)
- 1 jar vodka sauce
- black pepper
- red pepper
- 2 teaspoons “italian” seasoning
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 lb. penne pasta
- cheese (LOTS of it!)
Brown the sausage. Add the carrots, then the wine. Let the wine evaporate as it simmers. Add the vodka sauce and herbs and spices (go as spicy as you’re willing). Simmer for a good little bit. Right before it’s done, add the peas.
Cook the pasta. You know what to do.
Combine the pasta and the sauce in a baking dish. Top with oodles of cheese. I wanted to use Fontina, but they were out at the store. I opted for mozzarella and Parmesan instead. Bake at 425 until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.