But about 15 years ago, an Aldi's opened on the south side of town, and last summer, Walmart expanded and offered a supermarket. I enjoy these markets, too, because they offer brands and products the Italian market does not carry. Aldi's, in particular, reminds me of shopping at LeClerc or Carrefour in France. And why not spread my grocery money around?
I have to admit, I don't make too many forays away from the Italian market, but the other day, I had to run to Walmart for a non-food item, and I moseyed around the food area.
Here's what I stumbled upon: Smoked Mozzarella Chicken Sausage with Artichokes and Garlic. Sounded interesting, and the sodium level wasn't too bad.
Reader, I bought a package.
I allowed the package of sausage to sit in the refrigerator for a day or two while I pondered approaches. Meanwhile, I bought:
- One red pepper
- One small eggplant
- One very small zucchini
I got to work. I roasted thinly sliced strips of red pepper and small, square chunks of zucchini, first drizzling them with olive oil and Mediterranean seasoning. While these vegetables were roasting in a 400-degrree oven, I chopped a small sweet onion and grated half the zucchini. While the onion was caramelizing over medium heat, I prepared two small servings of low-carb Dreamfields spaghetti and set them aside. I sliced two of the four sausages.
I added the sausage to the onions and tossed in the grated zucchini. When sausage was thoroughly heated and slightly browned and the vegetables in the oven were lightly roasted, I put the spaghetti on two small dinner plates, topped it with the sausage-onion-zucchini mix and then added the roasted vegetables and finally, sprinkled the dish with Parmesan cheese.
Roasted eggplant and zucchini are comfort foods for me, and red pepper adds that certain something to just about every dish with a Mediterranean influence. I was very careful with seasonings, because I did not want to overwhelm the already strong sausage flavor. This was a team effort, not a battle of tastes.
Because this was also an experiment, I did not add garlic, but when I make this again, I will use a small clove before caramelizing the onion. I will also toss in some fresh basil, about the time I add the grated zucchini to the onion-sausage pan. There's no tomato in my version, but next time I will add some small chunks of fresh tomato before sprinkling on the Parmesan. My approach was to pair roasted with fresh or nearly-fresh vegetables here.
So, here's what you need:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Mediterranean Spices
- Red Pepper
- Sweet Onion
- Sausage, your choice, but I'm sticking to this one
- Parmesan Cheese
- Black Olives for garnish, optional
- Spaghetti, or the pasta of your choice
I will make this again, no doubt. It's a nice summer-into-fall fish. This year, my garden includes peppers, tomato, eggplant and zucchini. but I'm not holding out hope for a large harvest.