1 pasta dish, 3 ways

Its been 2 whole months since I turned on my computer and created a post, summer has taken over our house. Playdates, sprinklers and screaming kids is what my days are jammed packed with. With summer in full swing I am getting lazy in my meal prep and desire to cook.

This past Thursday we made a pasta dish, one of our go to, easy pasta dishes. Parmesan pasta with green beans, peas, and chicken sausage.

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It’s as simple as this: pasta, a few tablespoons of butter, a spoonful of the pasta cooking water, a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese and salt/pepper – seriously that is it. Add whatever vegetables we have on hand, meat or sausage. For this dish I used green beans from our garden, frozen peas and spinach and chicken sausages. I sauteed the sausage and vegetables together and tossed them pasta and ‘sauce’ above and that was it. Simple flavors and fresh ingredients. I served this with a side salad to guarantee we would have leftovers as well as made an entire box of pasta, used all 4 sausages, and threw in extra veggies because I didn’t want to cook Friday evening and thought I could re-purpose it for dinner.

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So our Parmesan sausage pasta became mac and cheese Friday evening. I made a quick bechamel sauce, aka white sauce, added some freshly grated Parmesan cheese to it, topped it with some toasted panko breadcrumbs and had a delicious mac and cheese that we served with a side salad.

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It was creamy, nutty and the crunchy topping was the best part. Much to my surprise we still had about 1-2  servings left of the mac n cheese after our second meal. Mark said I bet we can do something with this too, but what. We both agreed we have always wanted to try to waffle mac n cheese so we knew what that third meal of this pasta would be!

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Saturday evening I mixed the mac n cheese together with the topping so that the breadcrumbs would get mixed in and hold the waffles together better. I will just say I was a huge skeptic and figured I would be scraping bits of mac n cheese out of every crevice  of my waffle iron but I was wrong. It worked great! They browned nicely giving it a crispy crust, they were soft and melty in the middle and actually stayed together. It took some skill to get them out in one piece onto the cookie rack but once they cooled slightly they stayed together really nicely.

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So here’s to taking left-overs and creating new!!

 

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