Pasta Fagioli

My Grandma made this hearty pasta dish often when I was growing up.  Grandma Laciura was Dutch-American but she was raised in a poor Italian neighborhood in New Jersey and she married my Grandfather who was pure Sicilian.  Italian food was all that she knew how to make.  She was a great Italian cook! When I was a teenager I asked her to teach me how to make a few of her basics.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple, Black Bean and Sweet Peppers

This dish is inspired by a recipe from The Complete Vegan Kitchen.  Of course, I’m posting my slightly different take on the recipe.  Mainly, I was out of coriander and had to work with ingredient amounts I had on hand rather than the exact ammounts called for in the original recipe.  Also, the original recipe merely suggests the addition of black beans whereas I feel the addition of black beans is key to making this not only a delicious side dish but a complete protein that could stand alone as a one dish meal.

I just love the way elements of sweet, savory and spicy play out in this dish.  The pineapple is not overpowering but just sweet enough.  I cannot wait to try this with the coriander and cayenne added in.  I think this would be a great side dish with grilled or roasted pork.

Roasted sweet potatoes, pineapple, peppers and onions with black beans

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Sausage and Peppers

This meal is a perfect example of how and what I like to prepare.  It is easily done, made with few ingredients, fresh and nutritious.  From start to finish it took about 30 minutes, which is just about my limit for a weeknight dinner.  The key for me was not overdoing it with the pasta and avoiding a second helping.  I was successful on both counts!


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