Mushroom and Leek Pasta with Chicken Sausages and Prosciutto

Fall brings along with it shorter and colder days. It also brings with it a huge variety delicious warm soups, pastas, baked goods, roasts… you get the gist. For me, when I come home from an 8 hour work day and/or a trip to the gym, I want an extremely simple, delicious, warm bowl of pasta to satisfy my carb cravings. This pasta dish in particular does not include that many ingredients and holds so much flavour that I can assure you’ll go for a second plate.

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Not only is it incredibly easy to make, its also light on the wallet. I get the majority of my pasta tips from one of my favourite chef’s: Mario Batali, cuz I’m basic and watched the Food channel religiously growing up. The guy has amazing tips on how to make fresh pasta, how to mix certain sauces with specific pastas, how to get the most flavour in a simple pasta dish, anything! I highly recommend watching a couple his shows on YouTube and adding in some of tips to your own cooking! The tip I incorporated into this dish was the process of taking out the pasta right before it is al dente, and finishing the cooking process in the sauce. This is most likely a super well known tip to the majority of pasta aficionado – but to me it was fresh and totally upped my pasta game!

Some substitutes if you don’t have all the ingredients available to you:

  • I used a rosemary chicken sausage from my grocery store’s deli counter because I  wanted something lighter but you can definitely substitute it with any mild sausage or just omit it all together! Sausages are often one of the cheaper meats on sale – so this is definitely a great dish if you’re feeling like you wanna save on dinner!
  • If you find buying a block of parmigiano reggiano to be difficult or pricey (it can be), what I used to do was just replace it with Grana Padano which is a much cheaper cheese and holds a similar flavour to the ultimate king of cheeses parmigiano reggiano.
  • You can also definitely substitute the pasta to whatever you’d like/have in the pantry! I just felt like rigatoni today :).

Let’s get started!

Mushroom and Leek pasta with Chicken Sausages and Prosciutto

INGREDIENTS for 2 servings:

    • 2 chicken sausages($2.33)
    • 3 Tbs olive oil ($0.20)
    • 2 cloves garlic ($0.04)
    • ½ pack of brown mushroom ($1.00)
    • 1 packed cup of spinach ($0.40)
    • ½ a leek ($0.50)
    • 50g prosciutto ($0.75)
    • ½ cup of parmigiano reggiano ($0.06)
    • 150g rigatoni pasta ($0.25)

    Total cost for 2 services: $5.53*

    Single serving for $2.76

    Serves 2, takes 20 Minutes

Compared to the $15-17 a plate at restaurants!

*DEPENDING THE COST OF THE INGREDIENTS IN YOUR AREA, THE COST MAY BE MORE OR LESS. I LIVE IN A FAIRLY INFLATED PART OF TOWN, SO CHANCES ARE YOUR COST WILL BE LESS.

 


DIRECTIONS

Prepare your ingredients! Shop up basically everything except the spinach, mince the garlic, and cut the prosciutto into large slices. What I did was I cooked the sausages in the casings then sliced them after they cooked so they could keep their shape. Put a large pot of water on boil to prepare your pasta and salt it so it tastes “like the sea.”

Ingredients - Leek mushroom pasta

Pour in the EVOO into a pan on medium heat, and put in the prosciutto. Once it crisps, add in the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms cook or “sweat”, you can move onto the next steps. This can take couple minutes.

mushrooms-pasta

Once the mushrooms cook, add in the leeks and the garlic and let it cook. Mix for a minute or two, then add in your sausages.

spinach-pasta

Once everything is well mixed, add in your spinach. The pasta is almost done! Pour in 2 ladles of the salted water into the pan, then drain your pasta. Next, add in the parm and add in salt & pepper to taste. Your final step is to add in the almost-al-dente pasta, and cook it in the pasta water infused with what you’ve made so far. This shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes.

 

Finished! Enjoy your super fast and super delicious plate of pasta 🙂

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Flavour-Packed Basil Fried Rice

Ah, fried rice. The best thing to come out of miscellaneous leftovers and dry old rice. We’re all guilty of cooking too much rice every now and then, but I’m more guilty of cooking too much and throwing it out. The problem with fried rice for me was that I find a lot of it is usually so bland and boring. So I decided I wanted to change that and see what I could do to make it taste better and have less food waste!

Eventually, this recipe became my go-to whenever I had leftover rice, chicken, beef, tofu, and certain veggies that were starting to go bad. I found that the best part of this recipe is that you can always alternate proteins & the veggies and it still holds the strong flavours anyone can really enjoy.

When it comes to fried rice, it’s usually best to use 1 or 2 day old rice that’s been kept in the fridge. That way its a bit more dry and can hold in more flavour without getting too mushy.

Here’s the basics of the recipe, you can always add in more vegetables you have left over.


Flavour-Packed Basil Fried Rice

INGREDIENTS for 2 servings:

  • 2 cups of cooked day-old rice (1 cup of uncooked rice)($0.38)
  • 4 Tbs canola oil ($0.20)
  • 1 large egg ($0.24)
  • 3/4 cup of chopped cooked chicken (or your choice of protein)($1.10)
  • 1 medium sized carrot ($0.16)
  • 2 scallions ($0.18)
  • 1/2 zucchini ($0.395)
  • 1/3 cup of corn ($0.06)
  • 1 bunch of chopped fresh basil ($0.398)
  • 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar ($0.12)
  • 1 Tbs Dark Soy Sauce ($0.03)
  • 2 Tsp Oyster Sauce ($0.06)
  • 1 Thai chili (optional)

Total cost for 2 services: $3.32*

Single serving for $1.66

Serves 2, takes 20 Minutes

Compared to the $10-$12 at restaurants!

*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

Basil-Fried-Rice-Ingredients
Gather & prepare your veggies and chop it all into small cubes (corn not pictured). I had a left over chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken, so I just chopped that into cubes and it worked perfectly! Next, whisk the egg in separate bowl.

Place a wok on the stove at medium-high heat. Once your pan heats, add in 1 Tbs of the oil. As soon as the oil gets hot, add in the egg and scramble.

Basil-Fried-Rice-Eggs

As soon as it scrambles, remove the egg to a separate dish and pour 2 Tbs of the canola oil.

Basil-Fried-Rice-Vegetables

Next, add in your veggies. I used carrots, zucchini, and some corn. You can definitely add in whatever vegetable you have left over such as broccoli, bok choy, peppers, etc. as long as the flavour doesn’t overwhelm the dish.

Basil-Fried-rice-mix

Stir for a bit and then add back in your eggs, and then add in your protein & the rice vinegar.

Mix for about 30 seconds to wait for the vinegar to cook off, then add in the rice!

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Break apart the rice and mix it in as much as possible and add in your last tablespoon of canola oil.

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Once the rice, meat, and vegetables are well mixed, add in the basil, green onions, soy sauce, and oyster sauce (and the Thai chili if you want it to be spicy!).

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The oyster sauce can be substituted with vegetable Hoisin if you want, but I really recommend the oyster sauce as it adds it’s unique flavour (and no it does not taste like fish if you’re worried!)

Now really start stirring and really fry the rice. Once everything is mixed well and the basil becomes aromatic, take the rice off the heat and serve.

All done within 20 minutes!

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I really hope you enjoy it, and feedback (postive or constructive) is always appreciated! 🙂


INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store

6.8kg of Premium Calrose Rice ($14.99) – $0.22/100g
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
12 Large Eggs ($2.97)
Pack of 4 chicken breasts ($9.33)
1 Zucchini ($0.79)
1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
Pack of Basil ($1.99)
500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
750g of Frozen Corn Kernels ($0.99) – $0.132/100g
3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00