One of my husband’s and my unofficial resolutions (we’re not much for official New Year’s resolutions here), was to try to be better about food. We often eat out, which is expensive, and we throw out a good deal of food as well, which is also expensive. And given that one of our good friends is essentially the queen of not letting things go to waste, it makes me pretty ashamed that we don’t do such a hot job at our house. So our resolution was to spend less time and money buying everything we need for a set of recipes every week, but instead use what we have and see where the food took us, as we attempted to use up food we already had bought.

This improv style dinner menu has so far gone very well, although we really are only about two meals into it, due to weekends away and such. The first meal used up the heels of a loaf of italian bread, a package of chicken tenders, a jar of mustard, the last half of a package of plum tomatoes, the last half of a package of carrots, and about 2/3s of a jar of pasta sauce. We made this, with a side of roasted root veggies. According to my husband it was, and I quote, “mmmmmm, this is fantastic!” Now before you start thinking, hmm, that recipe has a can of crushed tomatoes and not fresh plum tomatoes and tomato sauce – it’s true, we took some liberties, but it was still really fantastic!

Up for tonight’s menu was some bratwurst which we had picked up on a whim. Tonight’s final tally was somewhat less impressive than the chicken parmesan, but I did finish a package of spelt pasta, use about half of the brats (the rest are frozen), and some of our vast supply of garlic.

Without further ado, I give you Brat Pasta (I think I need to work on my recipe names, maybe Brats from a Hat? hmm.):


Brat Pasta

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 bratwursts, sliced
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup marsala wine
    • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 package spelt pasta (can be found in the organic section at the grocery)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • Shredded parmesan, asiago and/or romano cheeses for garnish

  • Methods (since everything is an experiment at our house):
    • 1. Put sliced brats, garlic, pepper and olive oil into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until brat slices are browned, stirring regularly.
    • 2. Add balsalmic, marsala, and dried herbs, turn the heat down to medium or medium low (depending on how powerful your stove is), and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the brat slices are cooked through.
    • 3. Reduce heat to low, and keep the sauce warm
    • 4. Cook pasta according to the package instructions, adding the salt to the water before putting in the pasta
    • 5. When the pasta is cooked, drain and add directly to the skillet with the brat mixture. Toss, serve, garnish and enjoy!

  • Notes
    • Makes enough for 2 for dinner, plus enough for one to have a side with lunch the next day
    • Would probably be just as yummy with some broccoli or something else plant-related added in, we just didn’t have much greenery in the fridge
    • I have made a similar recipe with chicken, it just ends up less savory

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