Tag Archive: peppers


Its been a long time since an episode of “Bachelor Cooking” posted!

Not a single recipe since I was dating Inna earlier this decade, and while the hurt from those failed relations (nobody’s fault but the money) will never go away until I mend that loss with a more stable Украина женщина, I decided to follow up my “Columbus Day Top Ten” reasons post with what I created for my Italian-style Columbus Day After-parade dinner. I’ve been on a cooking “roll” (no pun intended) lately, and its a shame that I have no lady to share them with. I digress…back to the dish and not the “dish”.

This “hot” Italian sausage and spinach dish came out “restaurant quality” in my opinion. You can use just about any firm pasta as the base so long as it withstands the sausage and tomatoes; I chose Rigatoni, but Penne, Rotini or shells would work!

In the wake of Columbus Day 2019 and the inspiration of watching it from outside of NYC on WABC7NY television that glorious Monday, I wanted to extend and so I imagined, what kind of food I could make similar to what would be enjoyed in the Little Italy that evening for my own post-parade party. Before a recent trip, I stocked my provisions in the fridge and I had a craving for hot Italian sausage, which I hadn’t had the opportunity to grill all summer as I would have in normal years past. 2019 has not been a “normal” year; I’ll tell you why in a couple more posts.

So, I came up with this simple celebration of taste where you’ll only need one pot and your large black iron frying pan to create a restaurant-quality dish! I’d just recently became reacquainted with my heavy pan which was in storage, seasoned it with some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and put aside overnight in a cooling oven.

Therefore, when I began this dish by sauteing three hot Italian sausages on number 2.5, if your range is electric or medium-low if gas, it was ready to rock and roll. Simultaneously, prepare half-pound of Rigatoni in another two-quart pot with a dash of seas salt tossed in the water. Make sure you put three cuts on each sausage like you would a hot dog on the grill – it will make them easier to chunk with your metal spoon, spatula or precise-knife!

While that is cooking, get one onion, three garlic cloves ( or a couple teaspoons of pre-minced from the jar, half a bag of frozen (unless you want to do it yourself fresh) pre-sliced “three peppers (yellow, read & green) mix”, one can of diced peppers, a half can of tomato paste and half-bag fresh spinach (not “baby”) ready on the side to join the action. When the sausage starts to sizzle, I turn them and lace with a hand-full of Italian seasoning from my spice carousel. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box and set aside.

After about 7 minutes, take the chunks of sausage out of the pan put in a little tin warm-foil and set aside on your stove top. Drain any excess oil from the heavy pan – but not all! Lower heat and add your garlic, chop three-quarters of a yellow onion, stir and raise the heat to medium or 4.5 on the electric range. Stir a lot and add your tomatoes (with juice),tomato paste, a splash of a red-wine beet marinade and four drops of Filippo Berio Raspberry Glaze with Balsamic vinegar and a little palm-full of hot red-pepper flakes from my spice carousel. Cook it about 10 minutes and stir often to mix it up! Remove from heat.

Drain the Rigatoni, toss with a splash of evoo and couple dashes of dried Basil. Add spinach. I transferred it to my big, silver chef’s bowl and mixed all up really good with my chef’s wooden spoon, until the spinach was wilted. Add sausage and really mix-up and toss as all ingredients now have a party going on in the bowl!

Transfer a portion to a serving dish and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese… “Viola!”

A nice, room-temperature glass of authentic Chianti completes this meal!

This definitely extended the Columbus Day feeling for the rest of the week as I (of course) have copious leftovers in my brand new resealable container, tempting me to munch every time I open the fridge.

As with a stew, it was even better the second serving! “Light-bulb!!! Maybe you can use this recipe for your upcoming NFL Super Bowl party!
Enjoy and please let me know how you liked it!
And now a word from our classic commercials…

                               Well it all seems to go back there these days doesn’t it?  I mean, I’m going to have to work through all of these memories and good times associated with my former g/f with you in order to become the “free” bachelor again;  every holiday, birthday, traditional celebration is associated with someone who I thought at the time was my new best female friend outside of my dear Mum.  I know now that I am going to just have to work through it all, so thank you for reading and holding my hands because this will take at least until June, when she laid the “magic is [suddenly] gone” speech on me to get over.  Yet, it has changed me for life – this I now KNOW.

So I thought that going into last year’s growing season, and gleaning that in her old eastern European country she was closer to the land and growing things than me, a “city boy” has ever been, it would be a great idea to have a collective garden and grow some stuff we could eat together and save money on produce costs at the same time!  She happily brought over a plastic tray with some dirt in it, telling me she had started some “salad” in there, and all the while telling me I had to make a “box” as she called it (“planter” in our vernacular) to transfer the young seedlings into once they had sprouted.  I placed it outside my side door and tried not to overwater the shallow thing in spite of a very rainy spring as they tried to grow.  She told me that there was radish, lettuce and something else in there that I cannot remember as I write this tonight, and indeed they did try to grow.  However, almost on-cue as she dumped me, they began to die much to my chagrin.  I believe in stuff like that – our burgeoning “green thumbs” turned purple and the plants withered, so I went back to Home Depot where we had been on one of the best early spring afternoons to plan our horticulture, and copped a pack of hot pepper seeds.  I’ve always used Tobasco sauce on almost everything I eat – it is a tradition in my family – my granddad used to call it “Popeye sauce” when he asked us to pass it to him at the head of the table during family gatherings like Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, I felled a dying tree in my front yard and the kid who cut it down made it into little ‘Lincoln logs” and piled them up agains my Saucer Magnolia tree. For a while I didn’t know what to do with them, and was going to trash them, when one day, upon pulling into my driveway, it hit me: configure them as an open log cabin-style planter or “box” as she had advised.  My neighbor had some good soil from a swimming pool indentation the previous owner of that house had created, and welcomed me to use it.  I thought, “Brilliant!” and now envisioned it as it became.  I transferred the tray my former beloved had left and planted my hot pepper variety as well.  You  know  what happened don’t you?  All  her stuff died and my peppers flourished!  Green ones, Jalapeno, those angry-looking crinkly-devilish kinds that began green but ended up long, slim and firey red by September. 

Frost was long in coming, and so my pepper harvest was very good – they kept growing into early November!  While I harvested them, I put them in a plastic zip-lock bag and froze them as I had researched on the i-net to do.  Soon I had a wicked assortment and they were ready to make sauce out of.  I found out all I needed was (love) and some white vinegar, a pinch of salt, garlic clove, and a secret touch I’ll not reveal here (unless your comments beg me to) whipped-up in my blender and saved in one of those jars that commercial Marinara sauce comes in.  I sealed it in there two days before Thanksgiving in the refrigerator for one month; then took it out and it is in the top shelf of one of my cabinets until late January when, I will take it down and unseal the “fire”!  I plan to make little bottles of it as a present to my friends who want some of my own “57 (birthday) Style” homemade hot sauce.  “On-Guarde!! LOL

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