It’s Hot, yes, but I’m craving a hot cooked meal!

Very typical for me in the heat, is to enjoy so many wonderful light meals or just a loaded up salad, often adding cheese, bacon, hardboiled eggs, even cold cuts or leftover grilled chicken to satisfy my craving for protein.  But after several of these delightful treats in a row the body screams for “a manly comforting meal”!  Today, albeit 103º here in Queens, NY, with real feel of 116º, I had that craving.  Entered the rather warm, unairconditioned kitchen after painting the walls of our bedroom with the a/c blasting, to prepare dinner.

So here goes another rooting through the fridge and pantry to create something tasty, unplanned from ingredients lying around just waiting to be transformed into something delicious and satisfying.  All of this is happening in spite of Nana’s protests and saying eggs and toast are just fine for her!

I gather: two ears of corn, a package of sun-dried tomato chicken sausage, some fresh broccoli,  1/2 red bell pepper, 1/2 poblano pepper, 1/2 red onion, 1 large garlic clove, 1 medium fresh tomato, 1/3 cup vermouth, 1 cup chicken broth, 10 leaves of fresh basil, 1 tablespoon tomato paste and some whole wheat penne.  To all of this I added some dried chili peppers, ground fennel, kosher salt and black pepper.

The method:  I sliced the sausages into 1″ pieces and cut the corn off the cobs.  Started by sauteing the onions, peppers, garlic, chili peppers in olive oil, added the sausage cooking until browned, added the corn and fennel, sautéed for two minutes then stirred in tomato paste then deglazed with vermouth, added the broth and simmered while cooking the penne and broccoli.  I had cut the broccoli into florets and sliced the stalk into 1/4″ thick coins.  Added the coins to the pasta pot for last 3 minutes of pasta cooking time and the florets for the last 2 minutes.  After adding some pasta water to the sausage mix I drained the pasta and broccoli and added it and the chopped tomato and basil.  Cooked additional 2 minutes to thicken sauce slightly and served with shavings of Parmesan Cheese.

Very satisfying, and there are leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner via the microwave saving another hot day in front of the stove!

Stay cool, the break in the heat is coming! So they say!

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