One of our favorite ways to enjoy a summertime meal is outdoors. In the Northwest, our window of opportunity for this activity only happens over a few months so we take full advantage of warm, dry weather when it comes.
When the weather invites us outside for dinner, I love packing something up that I can prepare in advance and doesn’t have to be served hot. A frequent request from the kids is Sausage, Peas and Pasta.
I can make it the night before in under 20 minutes, then reheat it before we head out. You know how much I love my canning jars, right? Well, I really like packing picnic foods in my pretty jars. Everyone gets their own jar, along with lots of side goodies like fruit, their water bottle and a treat. We use cloth napkins and our everyday utensils when we picnic so there’s no waste – everything comes home with us.
What are some of your favorite make-ahead meals for picnics?
Sausage, Peas and Pasta (serves 6 to 8)
16oz bag of pasta (we like to use the spiral rotelle pasta for this dish)
4 to 6 Chicken apple sausage links
½ tsp cinnamon
Salt to taste
Prepare pasta according to directions. With approx. two minutes left, add frozen peas to boiling water to cook. We add about half a bag – it really depends on how much you love peas. Rinse in cold water.
Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces. While pasta/peas are waiting patiently in your colander, add one teaspoon olive oil to your pot and warm sausage links. You can also add any other diced fresh vegetables at this time – we added cut carrots this last time.
Once fully cooked, add pasta/peas to the pot. Drizzle enough olive oil to easily toss mixture (about 2 to 3 tablespoons) and add cinnamon and salt. Toss until everything is well mixed. Add more olive oil if pasta is sticking.