What's Cooking This Week? Italian-Style Bangers and Mash Plus More

I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredient's I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week - my weekly meal plan and grocery guide. This way, I can make the most of my ingredients and my leftovers.

Last week, a squash puree made the base of a Squash Mac & Cheese and a Butternut Squash & Sausage Bisque. This week, garlicky kale is served with Steamed Fish and used again in a Bacon, Tomato & Kale Spaghetti.

Here's the rest of the plan:

  • Steamed Fish on Kale
  • BLTK Spaghetti
  • OG's Zuppa Toscana
  • Bacon, Manchego & Tomato Panini
  • Italian-Style Bangers & Mash

    Pantry Items

    • Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
    • Cooking spray
    • Butter
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Cicken stock
    • Half & half
    • Whole grain/coarse mustard
    • Dijon mustard
    • Crème fraiche (can sub sour cream or Greek yogurt)
    • Crushed red pepper
    • White wine
    • Kosher salt
    • Pepper

    Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers

    • 2 filets fresh fish (tilapia, cod, halibut, sea bass)
    • 1 lb Italian sausage (I prefer a mix of hot & sweet turkey)
    • 1 package center-cut bacon
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1 shallot
    • 1 head garlic
    • 2 tomatoes
    • 2 large russet potatoes
    • 1 lemon
    • 1 bunch kale
    • 3 oz manchego cheese
    • 4 slices good quality sandwich bread
    • 1 package whole wheat spaghetti

    Day 1: Steamed Fish on Kale
    Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman
    *Makes leftover Sautéed Kale for use in BLTK Spaghetti

    Wash kale and shake dry. Discard stems and roughly chop.
    *Reserve 1 cup for use in day 3.

    Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add kale, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1-2 cloves minced garlic, and 1/3 cup white wine (or water). Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, until greens are tender, about 10 minutes.
    *Remove 1/3 of the greens for use in day 2.

    Place fish atop kale and dot each filet with ½ tablespoon butter, salt, and crushed red pepper. Recover and steam until fish is cooked through, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Serve with sliced lemon.

    Day 2: BLTK Spaghetti
    *Uses leftover Sautéed Kale

    Cook two servings of pasta according to package instructions.

    Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 to 3 slices chopped bacon, cooking until crisp. Remove and set aside.

    Drain grease from the pan, leaving about 1 teaspoon. Add a light coating of olive oil, 1 chopped shallot, and ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cook until shallot is tender, about 2 minutes, before adding 1 clove minced garlic and leftover kale.

    Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup white wine. Add pasta, chopped bacon, 1 chopped tomato, and parmesan cheese, tossing to combine.

    Serve hot topped with freshly ground black pepper and more parmesan.

    Day 3: OG's Zuppa Toscana

    Follow this copycat recipe, dividing it in half.

    Serve soup hot topped with freshly ground black pepper.

    Day 4: Bacon, Manchego & Tomato Panini

    Cook 4 slices bacon until crisp.

    Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray.

    Build sandwiches by layering bacon, sliced manchego, and sliced tomato onto 2 slices of bread. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and top with 2 remaining slices.

    Butter the top sides of bread and place, buttered side down, onto hot grill. Grill, pressing down, until golden brown and crisp on bottom. Butter top half before flipping over and repeating.

    Slice and serve.

    Day 5: Italian-Style Bangers & Mash

    Peel and chop a large potato.

    Place into a large pot and cover with cold water, heavily seasoned with salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

    Drain potatoes and return to pot to mash, adding butter, half & half, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in ½ teaspoon whole grain mustard, ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and ½ tablespoon crème fraiche, blending until smooth.

    Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high and add 2 teaspoon oil. Prick sausages with a fork and add to pan alone with 1/2 sliced onion. Cook turning, until sausages are browned and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

    Remove sausages from pan and deglaze with 2 tablespoons white wine and 2 tablespoons chicken stock.

    Slice links in half diagonally and serve over mashed potatoes topped with sauteed onions. Drizzle with pan juices.


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