Making a meal with whatcha got!

So, after ranting about our kitchen at home, we came to the lake for the weekend. Besides the quiet, calm of the lake setting, long walks in the sun and warmer temperatures – along with a great visit from friends – it was wonderful to have a kitchen to hang out in!

After a couple of nights of BBQmeals, for our last evening I decided to do a“kitchen clean-up” meal, using up what we brought to the lake, and experiment with some flavours. So here’s the pasta meal I came up with – and it was good.

As The Pioneer Woman would say – here is the cast of characters.


Mild Italian sausage – left behind by Karen from her fabulous brunch!

Cooked, frozen shrimp

Spinach, tomato and mushrooms

Egg noodles (any pasta will do)

Grated cheese blend and topped with parmesan cheese when served

Spices were what we had in the cupboard: tarragon, parsley flakes and oregano


Olive oil

Lemon zest and lemon juice

White wine

Fresh ground pepper

Apologies for not having exact measurements, but this was a complete experiment. There were two of us, so I used two sausages and about 10 shrimp. The pasta was about a half a package. Spinach wilts so don’t be afraid to use lots. I used about three big mushrooms and one tomato – I could have used more tomatoes or grape tomatoes would have been nice. But this was a blend of what we had – no shopping involved!

Cooking directions:

Fry the sausage until browned, then remove from the pan and slice up. At the same time, put a pot on to boil. (Some pasta boiling hints I have read from Italian chef sites – salt is not necessary and neither is oil. In fact, oil should be avoided because the starch on the pasta enables sauces and other flavours to stick to the pasta. Oil prohibits that. It is also better to scoop the pasta out rather than drain it, as it is key to add a bit of pasta water to the sauce.)

In a large, deep, frying pan, heat olive oil and a bunch of garlic. Throw in the slices of sausage to brown. Add sliced fresh mushrooms, and slices of tomato. Toss in the spices and some ground pepper.


Once the pasta is cooked, throw in the cooked shrimp. If you have raw shrimp, add with the sausage slices. Then toss in the spinach and add lemon zest, lemon juice and white wine.

Once the spinach has wilted, add the cooked, drained pasta, and toss all together. Just before serving, throw in a few handfuls of Kraft Tex Mex grated cheese (or any other cheese you like) and stir the mixture. Serve on a plate, sprinkle grated parmesan on top, and garnish with some parsley flakes and fresh ground pepper.


The flavour of the lemon zest, spices, slight heat of the sausage, combined with shrimp and fresh fried veggies, was awesome! We had a small iceberg lettuce salad on the side and some Riesling and ate overlooking the lake – at a TABLE!


Adjust portions and flavours as you need!

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