One of the best things about the fall is the abundance of produce coming out of the garden. Finally, all the hard work and back breaking labor pays off. I’m not going to lie, this year my garden was a big challenge. I’ve never had so many problems getting things to grow and keeping them thriving. I blame this years challenges on the crazy weather we’ve been having!
Luckily I’ve had a few crops that survived the crazy summer and have been having fun making delicious recipes with what I got. This week I had a huge variety of veggies to be picked. I was so happy when I took a huge bowl out to the garden and filled it over the top with veggies… finally. And what makes veggies even better? Pasta!
So I chopped up a bunch of garden vegetables, got the pasta boiling, and dinner was ready in no time.
One of my favorite tricks to instantly add flavor to vegetables and pasta, sausage. If you have a well seasoned sausage, it adds almost all the flavor you need for a quick and delicious dinner. You can use any type of meat in the sausage, just make sure it’s not breakfast sausage (unless you are making breakfast). I love hot Italian sausage, but sometimes my kids can’t handle the heat, so I usually use mild Italian sausage. You can use bulk or links. I used links in this recipe (cause that’s what I had) and sliced them up to make cute little sausage disks.
To whip up this 20 minute sausage & garden vegetable orzo, boil some water and cook 8 oz whole wheat orzo. Meanwhile, brown 12 oz Italian sausage in a large skillet. All that brown stuff stuck to the bottom of your pan is not delicious flavor for your veggies and pasta. Yum!
Toss in 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 onion, well minced. Sauté until onions are soft and fragrant, just about a minute. As the onions release all their juice, it will start to release the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add in the 2 medium tomatoes, diced. Sauté another minute until they are creating a little sauce in the pan. This will get up the rest of the flavor stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Dump in the rest of the vegetables and stir them up. Add a lid to your skillet and let the vegetables cook for a few minutes. You only need to let them cook 3-5 minutes, until they are done to your liking. I like a little crunch so I only cooked a few minutes.
Toss the vegetable and cooked orzo pasta together. Stir in 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese and squeeze 1/2 a lemon over the top. All done!
My kids loved dinner. It was so nice to have a dinner that they sat down and ate everything without any fuss. Including all the vegetables!
And the leftovers were so delicious too. I love dinners that make an easy lunch the next day.