This was another fast and easy beach house dinner, pulled together in the short time between coming in from the ocean and heading back out to the boardwalk in the evening (I recommend cooking with sand between your toes at least once in your life – it will do you well). It made good use of the farmer’s market veggies in the crisper as well as the pantry staples we’d brought with us.
One pot, one sauté pan, and a cutting board. Prep and clean up were a snap.
Best of all, everyone liked this dish with daughter 1 calling it “yummy.” We even got both girls to try different flavor combinations (the feta with a bite of squash, a green bean with a bit of sausage…).
You could freelance on this recipe quite a bit with equally good results. We added just two links of Italian sweet sausage but this recipe could be made without meat just as easily. Use zucchini instead of summer squash. Put in a red or green bell pepper instead of the purple one I used. Or use an Italian frying pepper instead. Have some broccoli? Throw that it. Don’t like feta? Use goat cheese, or even cubed Parmesan. I think you’ll find it all works.
Have fun with this one! And then, go out and have some fun after dinner too.
Penne with Italian Sausage, Summer Squash, Green Beans, Feta and Olives
1/2 pound penne pasta
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used a purple bell pepper)
2 medium summer squash, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 cup green beans, washed and cut to 2-inch lengths
1 garlic clove, diced
2 sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
4 ounces feta cheese, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
1 tablespoon diced parsley
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook penne pasta according to directions.
As penne is cooking, heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat and add onion and bell pepper. Cook 1 – 2 minutes, until slightly softened, and add squash and green beans. Cook, stirring, until squash has begun to soften and brown slightly at the edges and green beans are tender – another 5 minutes. Add garlic and sausage and continue to cook another 3 – 4 minutes.
When pasta is done and drained, add it to the sauté pan with the vegetables and sausage. Mix in the feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and parsley, and serve.
Serves: 4 – 6
Kid rating: four-and-a-half stars. Plates were nearly cleaned at the end of the meal and we actually had good dinner table conversation about the ingredients and how they tasted. Daughter 1 talked about the “tang” of the cheese (really!). A win.
Parent rating: four-and-a-half stars. For a quick and easy pasta/veggie dish, this was one of the better ones we’ve had in a while. Maybe it was the way the saltiness of the feta and olives complemented the squash, or how the sausage blended so nicely in with the other elements to create a bit of a sauce for the pasta. Regardless, this one is a keeper.