Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2 for 1 Dinners-Mini Pizzas and Pasta Bake

I'm not a huge fan of leftovers.  However, I'm usually only cooking dinner for my husband and me (or just me as he goes out of town a lot for work) and most food items are not portioned for 2 people.  So instead of having leftovers, I like to find ways to create 2 different (but similar) meals out of some of the same items.

This week at Harris Teeter, I found some Italian style chicken sausage on sale.  One time for my birthday when I was younger, my mom made mini pizzas using refrigerated biscuit dough as the pizza crust.  I decided to try this with the sausage as a topping.  Then the next day I used to rest to make a pasta bake.  I bought a package of Italian style chicken sausage (4 Links), a jar of Spaghetti sauce, frozen mixed bell peppers and shredded mozzarella cheese to be used in both dishes.  Then I just needed a can of refrigerated biscuit dough and some type of pasta (which I typically already have at my house).

Mini Sausage and Peppers Pizzas-Makes 10 mini pizzas
1 small container of refrigerated flaky biscuit dough (5 biscuits)
1 link of Italian style chicken sausage chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup of frozen mixed bell peppers chopped in to smaller pieces
1.5 cups of tomato sauce (I used Prego Spaghetti Sauce)
3/4 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese

1-Split biscuits in half to make 10 circles of pizza dough.  Cook these at 400 F for about 5-6 minutes.
2-While the biscuits are cooking, heat up the sausage and peppers in a pan on the stove.  Add one-two spoonfuls of tomato sauce to that and set aside.
3-Pull biscuits out of the oven and top each with some sauce, then the sausage and pepper mixture and then some cheese. 
4-Put back in the oven and back for 6 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Sausage and Pepper Pasta Bake-For 2 or 3
2 links of Italian style chicken sausage cut into small pieces
1 cup of frozen mixed bell peppers
1.5 cups of spaghetti sauce
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1.5 cups of pasta

1-Cook the pasta
2-While you are cooking the pasta heat up the sausage and peppers.  Then add in the spaghetti sauce.  Let this simmer a little.
3-Mix pasta and sausage mixture in a baking pan and top with cheese.
4-Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Ok, yes I realize that these two meals are very similar (at least ingredient wise) but it's enough of a difference to make me feel like I made two different things.  And I still have a sausage left over.  What should I do with it?
How do you feel about leftovers?


Jenni said...

Definitely should have pancakes in sausage either this weekend or I always love breakfast for dinner!

That pasta bake looks good. Something about casseroles that are comfort food to me.

$hanzie said...

I personally like leftovers so i don't have to cook everyday. but I don't usually like them for more than 2 days in a row. but it is easier since i live alone to cook once and eat for 2 days.
you could make a stomboli or calzone with the leftover sausage... but i realize that sounds a lot like hte pizza you made. Also, sometimes, i use chicken sausage cut up with veggies in scarambled eggs or an omlet on the weekend. I also bought the chicken sausage that was on sale at HT but I usually unpackage it and freeze it separately or in pairs and just use 1 or 2 when I want to make dinner.

Anonymous said...

I am the kind of person that can eat the same thing (if its good) over and over again - so I am usually cool with leftovers (which is lucky, because Wilzie always cooks enough for an army!).
And I am all over the mini-pizzas, though we usually use naan bread.

Salt said...

Mmmm yes please on all of this.
Those little pizzas are so cute! I've seen so many great recipes for homemade pizza lately. I should try to make them this weekend.

Shana said...

I never thought of using biscuits for mini pizzas. What a great idea. Thanks!