Tag Archives: Italian food

Making The Most Of It

24 Oct

As the holidays approach I have been paying a little more attention to how much I’m spending and on what. One area that I know we have an issue with over spending is definitely on food. I’ve been making an effort to be smarter about menu planning over the weekend as well as making dinners that will stretch into two nights or I can take leftovers for lunch the next day.
While I was making my delicious lasagna soup I realized that my package of Italian turkey sausage was going to make much more than I needed, but I didn’t know how long I could store it before it would go bad. I decided to brown it up (breaking it up with a spoon) in a small frying pan with just olive oil over medium heat. I also only had four more lasagna noodles left in my package after I was done with the soup and felt silly about storing just a couple so I boiled them according to the package. I had extra mozzarella cheese from the soup, extra ‘everything’ veggie pasta sauce (which I always do because I have a difficult time figuring out portions for only two people). I happened to have ricotta cheese which I had planned to use in another recipe later but I only needed a little. I checked out Pinterest for the layering and storage and decided that it would be quite delish to make lasagna roll ups for a later date. It was so easy, allowed me to use the leftover ingredients I had from my original meal, and make a great pop-in-the-oven meal for another day.

Lasagna Roll Ups
4 Lasagna noodles cooked per package instructions
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Italian turkey sausage casings removed, crumbled and cooked
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup tomato pasta sauce
Take this noodle by noodle. Place noodle on a surface that it can lie flat.

Spoon and spread ricotta evenly over noodle.

Spoon sausage crumbles even over ricotta.

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over meat and cheese.

Spoon pasta sauce over cheese and meat.

Roll noodle and stuffing up ‘jelly roll’ style.

Repeat with all other noodles.

Top all with sauce and more mozzarella cheese.

I decided to freeze mine for later but you can either heat these in the microwave for a minute on high or in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and the rolls are heated through. If frozen, they should be fully defrosted before reheating.
I like roll ups because you can make less than a full pan if you desire and even though you use your hands it’s less messy than a traditional lasagna.


Soup Week Day 2

22 Oct

Day two is lasagna soup, one of my faves. I found this recipe for Bobby’s Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup by Bobby Dean on Pinterest about a year ago and I have been in love with it since. This is one that I generally follow to a T (except I love carrots so I added those). Here it is in all it’s glory!

It really is just like lasagna, it’s got a nice amount of heat, big flavor and I love the ooey gooey cheese!


Soup, It’s What The Doctor Called For

21 Oct

I haven’t been feeling very well in the past couple days (ahem Jessica who got me sick at work), so it was the perfect time to have Soup Week. Since I plan to make soup all week (different & new varieties) I dubbed it Soup Week to make it exciting – like Shark Week! lol. Are you excited yet? I am! Although my husband likes soups, I love them and I tend to want to make soup (homemade, of course) for dinner often. I had already decided before I was under the weather that I wanted to have Soup Week so I found three new recipes for soups that I have never made before, Pasta Fagioli, Broccoli Cheese Soup, and Chicken Enchilada Soup, and I plan to also make one of my favorite soups that I haven’t made in a while: Lasagna Soup. Is your mouth watering yet?? Mine certainly is.

I decided to start with the Fagioli and of course had to riff on the recipe that I found on the Frugal Living Now blog. This was exactly what I needed to make me feel so much better and was much less calories than a traditional ‘comfort food’ i.e. mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, etc. It was light yet filling and very tasty! It was so easy to make, the most intensive thing I had to do was literally collect all the ingredients. You could probably let it simmer for only 30 minutes if pressed for time and I bet it would be just as wonderful.

Meaty Pasta Fagioli

1 medium onion
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots chopped
1 can white beans, great northern, or kidney- drained & rinsed (I used white beans)
1 can petite diced tomatoes and juice
32 oz chicken stock
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
Fresh parsley
Parmesan cheese


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, add onions and sauté about 2 minutes. Add ground beef, break up meat with a spoon, brown meat thoroughly. Add carrots, rinsed beans, tomatoes, garlic, chicken stock, tomato paste and stir to combine. Add red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaf. Reduce soup to simmer and cook for 1 hour. Check flavoring and add salt and pepper as necessary. Add elbow macaroni and cook for an additional ten minutes. Add parsley and Parmesan and serve.
Makes 6 servings.


I loved how fragrant my kitchen was with robust herbs and garlic. The second my husband came home from work the very first words were “something smells so good!”.

This soup is super simple to make and fantastic, I hope you love it! Now I am definitely looking forward to the rest of Soup Week and trying all these new recipes!