Waste not, want not.

Waste not, want not: It’s a motto of many cultures, the Italians being one of them. I’m not a “gizzard and hearts” kind of cook but I try to use up all the leftovers we have on a given day. Usually they end up in my husband’s lunch. One can only have spaghetti and meatballs so many days in a row. At least those who aren’t Italian by blood can’t do it. So what’s a girl to do with the last few cups of tomato sauce that she doesn’t want to toss after it has a nice layer of mold growing?

Invent a recipe. Or at least think you’ve created something new in the culinary world. Most of the recipes today are just new takes on old stand-by recipes of famous chefs and home cooks from thousands of years ago. You can’t convince me I am the first to try this combination of flavors but it’s a first for our home so it’s “my creation” if you will.

Sausage with Artichoke Hearts and Black Olives

1 pound bulk Italian sausage, sweet-mild-hot whatever you like

1 medium onion diced

few Tbsp olive oil

1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 can of black olives, drained

1-2 cups tomato sauce with Italian seasonings or use up some leftovers

Fresh basil leaves

Parmesan or Asiago cheese


In a 12 in. skillet brown the sausage. About half-way through, add in the olive oil and onion. Continue cooking until sausage is cooked through and onion is translucent and soft. Add the artichoke hearts, olives and sauce. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes add in the basil leaves, torn if you like. Pass with the cheese at the table.

I also served fried polenta squares with this dish instead of going for pasta since we had a few nights of pasta the week before. This was a really simple meal. I’m thinking peppers and other vegetables could be added and I would have but I have some food allergies here so I can’t use eggplant or zucchini. I bet they would taste good with the sausage and polenta.