Doctoring up plain Pasta Sauce

My sister in law just gave me a huge jar of pasta sauce from Costco the other day, cause it’ll be going bad in a couple weeks and she had too many to finish up herself. Which is awesome, because I haven’t been feeling too great lately and I’m having trouble cooking. So today I found myself hungry and needing to get my family some lunch somehow, but not feeling up to an elaborate meal and needing to use up some of the fresh produce in my fridge before it goes bad. The greens and peppers were easy, I knew they would go well with pasta, but I needed some kind of protein to add. I had sausage and chicken in the freezer but didn’t feel like defrosting them first, so I decided to go with canned beans, even though the combination seemed strange. I decided to try it anyway, even though my husband expressed his concerns: “Beans?! Is that the best idea?” But the combination did turn out to be quite good, and he told me so after he tried it: “This is a surprisingly good combination!” It also got our toddler’s stamp of approval, who add gobs and gobs of it.

So there you have it. Give it a try for yourself and let me know what you think. Sorry no pictures this time. Just imagine the beautiful combination of bright green, red, blackish purple, tan and white and you’ll see for yourself, it looked quite good 🙂


1 Tbl olive oil

2 long peppers or banana peppers, seeded and chopped

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

~ 3 cups pasta sauce

1 bunch collard greens

8 oz medium whole grain shell pasta

a few slices mozzarella cheese


1) Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and add chopped peppers. Give them a stir.

2) After a couple minutes add the drained beans and pasta sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer while you prepare and cook the greens.

3) Set about a quart or two of water in a pot to boil. Meanwhile, remove the center ribs of the collard leaves and roughly chop. (I usually wash my greens after this step, cause it’s easier than trying to wash the whole mess of giant leaves)

4) When the water reaches a boil, add the washed leaves and stir. Reduce heat to medium. Check to see how long it will take your pasta to cook. Mine said 6 minutes, so I first let the greens cook for about 5 minutes and then I added the pasta to the boiling water for another 6 minutes. So the greens cooked in the water for a total of about 10-11 minutes.

5) When the pasta is cooked, drain the greens and pasta together in a colander. Then put them back in the pot and add the sauce and stir. Add the slices (or grated if you prefer) of mozzarella to the top and cover to melt it. Let sit 5 minutes.

6) Check to see if it needs extra seasoning (salt or sugar) and serve.

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1 Response to Doctoring up plain Pasta Sauce

  1. Jenna says:

    I’m imagining that beautiful assortment of colors–and now I’m hungry! =)

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