This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Wente Vineyards. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
A hard workout, wine and this Creamy Sausage Pasta with Kale and Burrata.
Today I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite pasta recipes and a personal look into how I manage the demands of day-to-day life by taking small moments just for me.
I’m going to lay it all out for you guys today.
Blogging, specifically food blogging, is not as easy as you may think. Ok, perhaps “easy” isn’t the right word to use here. But, for lack of a better world, let’s just roll with it.
Before I start explaining the reasons why food blogging isn’t easy, let me first start with a few short reasons why I blog. I blog because I truly, deeply LOVE it. After all, sometimes it’s the hardest things in life that bring the most joy (hmm, parenthood?). I have always known deep down inside that I was meant to do something artistically, I just never knew where to channel that passion. Now I know.
This blog, yes, this little tiny space of mine, is like my second child.
And this is exactly where it gets difficult.
If you aren’t a blogger or photographer you may not realize how much time (and money) we bloggers put into our space. I had no idea myself until I really committed and decided, all or nothing.
I spend a minimum of 60 HOURS a week on this blog. I am a one man show, so everything you see- the writing, social shares, recipe crafting, photos and editing, grocery shopping, email correspondence… it’s all me. And I am self-taught in everything.
On top of this, I am a mom and a wife and a housekeeper. When my son is not in school I am with him and we do not have someone clean our home.
Sometimes, it gets a little crazy around my house. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I thrive on work and projects.
If I haven’t lost you yet, you may be wondering why I am rambling on about my responsibilities and day to day demands. I mean, that’s life, right? We ALL have demands and stress, I get it. My life is no crazier than yours.
I am sharing this with you because for a LONG time I did not take time for myself. In fact, I still don’t take enough time for myself. I work every single day, vacation or not, weekend or not, and need to get out with girlfriends more often.
(translation- I need to make girlfriends)
That said, amid the chaos, I have always found time for one thing- running. Running is my happy time. All those endorphins, guys, that’s the good stuff. And, for years, I have always loved coming home after a long hard run, popping open a bottle of crisp white wine (after drinking lots of water, of course) and getting started on dinner. Cooking and wine just go together.
And so, the whole process- run, wine, cook- has become a bit of a ritual.
Of course, it doesn’t always work out this way; but when it does, it’s pretty awesome.
And, one of my favorite meals to refuel with after a really hard workout? This pasta.
O M G, YOU GUYS.
I admit, this is what I consider a “special occasion” meal. It’s not the healthiest, but it is SO WORTH IT! It’s super super easy to make, so it makes a perfect chill, drink a glass of wine and cook, dish.
So, even though the time may not be long, I still make time. A 30 minute run here, a 45 minute run there, and of course, ALWAYS good food, good wine and good company (even if we’re all swept up and surrounded by chaos).
Wente Vineyards is pioneering the “Make Time” movement; this summer Wente vineyards is choosing to make time for music, a passion that lies close to many members of the Wente family. Visit the Wente website to learn more about their love of the journey and how they make time for music.
TELL ME, how do you make time? Do you make time with exercise or music or cooking? Or do you do something totally unique?
I am weirdly fascinated by how people de-stress (so strange, maybe even kinda creepy, I know).
Creamy Sausage Pasta with Kale and Burrata
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Category: Pork, Main Dish, Pizza + Pasta + Noodles
1 pound ditalini pasta (or your favorite short, spoonable pasta)
3 links sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8.5 ounce) jar sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3-4 cups chopped kale (stems and woody bits removed)
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt + pepper, to taste
8 ounces burrata cheese, for serving
Fresh chopped parsley, for serving
FOR THE ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES
1 pound cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta according to package instructions and cook until al dente (I cooked my pasta for 10 minutes). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. . Drain.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a medium mixing bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic. Add the tomatoes and toss to coat. Transfer tomatoes to prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes burst and are browning on top. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon olive oil. Brown the Italian sausage, breaking it into small bits, sautéing until fully cooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked sausage to a plate and set aside.
In the same skillet over medium high heat add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the minced garlic and chopped bell pepper and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Transfer onion and bell pepper mixture to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Add the can of diced tomatoes and process until pureed to desired amount (I prefer my sauce a little chunkier, so I did not blend completely).
Return sauce back to the skillet or Dutch oven and return heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper to taste (you are going to need some salt and pepper!). Bring sauce to a low simmer; add the drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes and chopped kale. Mix well.
Once the kale is wilted stir in the cream and cooked noodles. Mix to combine.
Transfer to a large serving bowl or individual serving bowls and serve with creamy burrata cheese and fresh chopped parsley.