So it’s been a little quiet over here on Cooking In Cleveland and I feel like I owe you guys an explanation. Roughly sixteen days ago, my fiancé and I decided to try to complete our first Whole 30. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the “Whole 30” concept, it’s a diet that is basically an elimination plan. It basically says: no added sugars (including natural sugars like honey or stevia), no alcohol, no soy, no dairy, no grains (including healthy grains like quinoa and no corn), and no legumes for 30 days. It’s a commitment to eliminating foods that are known to cause inflammation, common food allergies, and also to learn what foods are “food triggers” for unhealthy habits.
To say that the intro to this 30 day challenge has been tough is probably an understatement. Sugar withdrawal is no joke! I read the Whole 30 book and ordered the cookbook before we decided to jump in and try this, and also there are a ton of food bloggers that have recently written about their Whole 30 experiences which were really helpful. If anyone wants any more information about the Whole 30, you can check out their website or comment below and i’ll answer anything that I can. It’s been fun to try out new recipes from the Whole 30 cookbook, and i’m compiling a lot of new recipe ideas for upcoming posts. On the downside, i’ve been doing a terrible job of organizing myself enough to photograph recipes as i’m cooking since I typically am quite hangry when I get home from work. (Allegedly that will stop in the next few days? Pray for me.)
My apologies for the hiatus last week–traveling for work and for the holiday kind of messed up my whole schedule. I’m back this week with one of my all time favorite pasta dishes.
The base of this pasta is totally dairy free so I just omit the parmesan at the end for my allergies. It’s a little rich and indulgent though with the wine and italian sausage, so it’s a dish that I really like to break out for when we have guests over or on a special date night.
I don’t use a garlic press. Simply place the garlic clove on your cutting board and smash with the flat side of a large chef’s knife. The skins will easily peel off and you can smash it again to begin mincing the garlic.
I used a chardonnay in the actual pasta dish–aaand then I opened a nice Italian full bodied red (Sangiovese) to drink. Full disclosure, I had opened this chardonnay to drink with a different dish and didn’t love the taste. It’s a bit too oaky for my taste, but works well in the actual dish.
Ross testing the Chardonnay?
I prefer to pair a red wine with this dish because it works well with the tomatoes, garlic, peppers and italian sausage. You could drink a really light white wine like a Pinot Grigio if you prefer white, but if you can’t tell by now, my preference is red. I don’t normally gravitate toward Italian wines, but I really enjoyed this one. It was a nice, bold Sangiovese with hints of red berry, anise, and black cherry.
Today’s recipe is one of my go-to Sunday dinners. There are very few meals that are more comforting than a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, right? I made this dinner a few weeks ago when my mom was in town visiting and served it alongside a large side salad, crusty garlic bread, and nice bottle of Chianti. To make garlic bread, I typically just lightly coat the thickly sliced bread with olive oil on each side then pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees F. After it’s lightly brown on both sides, remove it from the oven and take a whole garlic clove and just slightly rub the top of the bread with the garlic clove. You’d be amazed at how much flavor just the one clove can give your bread!
For the salad, I just washed some spring mix and spinach that I had in my fridge and tossed it with some chopped peppers, local Tomz cherry tomatoes, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. I picked up a Stonewall Kitchen Olive Oil Balsamic Dressing the other day at my local Heinen’s grocery store and placed that on the table so that people could dress it themselves.
Do you ever have one of those days where you’re craving pasta but feel like you need to eat a big ass salad? Like one of those days where it’s a Monday and the week is already kicking your ass so you want some cheesy, yummy comfort food but you want to start off the week on a good foot? This is a dinner for when you’re having one of those days. It involves a few different pots and pans going at once, so i’m listing this as a Sunday Dinner, but full disclosure, I made it on a Monday in about an hour, so its totally do-able during the week.
I know this looks like a lot of ingredients and spices, but really, I was just out of dried Italian seasoning…so I had to make my own.
This is a recipe that i’ve been tinkering with for several years. It’s really informal. Most nights, it’s just the chicken, pasta, wine, lemon, and whatever I have in my fridge. Sometimes pasta dishes can feel a little heavy. This dish cuts that with a nice bright garlic-lemon-wine sauce and a heavy handed veggie-to-pasta ratio.
Why should you have to choose between drinking your wine or pouring it in your food?
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