I’m all about giving credit where credit is due- this recipe was 100% my mum’s brainchild. She likes to call it “Use Up Pasta”, she literally puts everything but the kitchen sink in terms of delicious vegetables in it. Whatever is lying around is fair game. This version has carrots, mushrooms, zuchini, celery, spinach and onions. But you use whatever you need to use up, that’s kind of the idea! I apologize, since these weren’t my groceries I’m not sure on what the costing would be, but I wanted to share this recipe because I feel like I harp on never throwing food away, and this is perfect for using up veggies that may otherwise not get used.
Kitchen Sink Pasta
Small pasta (mini shells, penne, rotini)
Start by taking your Italian sausage and breaking it up in an electric skillet or large frying pan. While this is cooking (or before if you’re like me and can’t do two things at once some days), dice all of your veggies to a similar size. Cook the meat until it is fully cooked and in small pieces, then drain off the fat and return the meat to your skillet and add your veggies on top. If you’re using an electric frying pan, this is a wicked time to pop that lid on and walk away to focus on getting your pasta water on to boil.
My mum uses the cutest little mini shell pasta for this, and honestly it works really well because the tiny bits of veggies and meat tuck into the shells and it makes it pretty easy to eat. If you don’t have mini shells, penne or rotini will work well, too! Cook whatever pasta you choose according to the instructions on the package and drain. Reserve a bit of your cooking water just in case.
Once your veggies start to cook down, add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Your veggies and meat should be glossy and slightly red after incorporating and letting it cook for a couple minutes. If it’s not glossy and still feels more like meat and veggies than a loose, chunky “sauce”, then add a bit more tomato sauce and a splash of your pasta water. Once it’s looking saucey, add in a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese and pine nuts (if you like, we like the crunch). Then add you drained pasta on top and mix to serve.
I hope this gives you an idea of how to turn your random leftover veggies into something delicious! Let me know what veggies you’d add in the comments.