WRITTEN ON November 19th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Cheese, Chicken, Dinner, Italian, Tomatoes

In high school I was labeled a bacon thief by my friend Jill’s mom.  After sitting up on her kitchen counter one morning, eating slice after slice of bacon as her mother fried away (and assuming I was being incredibly charming, of course), Jill finally had to pull me aside and gently break it to me that her family had a two slice per person limit on bacon and I had just cleaned them out. I felt like Rayanne on My So Called Life.

Mortified, I realized that it wasn’t just bacon.  The problem ran much, much deeper.  My mother had to kick me out of the kitchen whenever she’d make her version of the below recipe, because I’d steal all the sausage when she wasn’t looking (which made for very boring fake calzones). Turns out I had (well, let be honest, have) a serious addiction to breakfast meats.  Bacon, sausage, ham, scrapple, pork roll, you name it.  When presented with a plate of sausage links, it becomes hard to distinguish between me and the Hoover in the hall closet.

This is a great weeknight cheater meal.  Using puff pastry saves you a boat load of time.  You could of course use regular sausage, but beware the alien fingers sneaking in every time you turn your back.  I made the switch to chicken sausage for this one because, frankly, my love affair with swine was rivaling my husband’s, which was really starting to worry me…

Weeknight cheats

Weeknight cheats

Cheaters Weeknight Special (serves 2)
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
2 links chicken sausage, cubed
2 large handfuls spinach
½ cup shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano

For Sauce:
½ an onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 14 oz can pureed tomatoes
1 tbsp dried oregano
1tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium sized skillet, cook sausage.  Remove to paper towels. In same skillet, wilt spinach, seasoning with salt and pepper. When cooked, squeeze to remove excess water. Cut the puff pastry into 4 4×6 rectangles.  Layer half of the sausage, half of the spinach, and ¼ cup cheese onto one pastry rectangle.  Top with second rectangle, using fingers to pinch all sides together to seal.  Sprinkle with grated parm. Repeat with remaining two pastry rectangles and ingredients. Bake in oven about 20 minutes until puffed and golden.  Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, sauté onions until soft and translucent in olive oil.  Add garlic, sauté one minute more.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add tomatoes, oregano, and bring to a boil.  Turn down to simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve along side your “calzones.”

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