So I'm pretty sure there's a downside to my obsession with Jersey Shore. But at present, I can't name one. In my defense, I don't have a single thing in common with any of the characters on the show, so it's not like I'm in danger of being easily influenced by their fame. For starters, I'm from South Jersey, which is practically an entirely different state than the northern counterpart--which I might add is where ALL of these Jersey centric televised spectacles are filmed. South Jersey is largely a suburb of Philadelphia, and as such, is generally populated with generic, non fist-pumping white people, farmland, a few urban enclaves with typical urban challenges that the aforementioned group likes to pretend doesn't exist [side eye], and some of the best strip mall shopping in the mid-atlantic region [seriously and they're all 15-20 minutes away from each other].
Secondly, well in a nutshell my mother just raised me better. Even in the wildest days of my early twenties, none of the tomfoolery which I gleefully participated in can even hold a candle to the $h!tf@ckery that these fools do on camera. While it is admittedly fun to watch, I marvel at their shamelessness with curiosity and amusement, and can't help but be embarrassed for them (and their parents). I'm practically a grown woman, and I know for fact that if my mom ever saw this show, she would give me the side eye of a lifetime just for watching this nonsense. And thirdly [wait...is thirdly even a word??], I am naturally and beautifully what they desperately aspire to physically be.....melanin blessed. Their obsession with tanning just tickles me pink, or chocolate cherry, or whatever color it is I turn when I'm bereft of oxygen due to uncontrollable laughter in response to the lengths some of them will go to in just to not be pale. I really want to point out to them that they're white, and layering on spray tan so thick that you could be mistaken for a black person from a distance, is a problem. But, then again, I have a permanent tan, so I don't know what its like to be pale. *Shrugs*
But anyway, there's definitely an upside to watching countless hours of fist pumping, public drunkenness, and all out girl brawls in the shore house, and that is its influence on my cooking. You see, aside from the obvious reasons this show is entertaining, I especially love their Sunday dinners. I love them so much, apparently, that they have seeped into my subconscious and I found myself channeling "The Situation"when making dinner one day last
Sausage and Peppers Penne
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3 Hot Italian Sausage Links, roughly chopped
2 Bell Peppers, sliced in rings
1 Medium onion, thickly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 Box Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
1/4 Cup Red Wine
Fresh Parmesan Cheese1 Tbsp Fennel Seed
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Bring a large stock pot full of water to a rolling boil. Season generously with salt and olive oil. Add penne to boiling water, cook about 9 minutes, or until past is al dente. Drain and set aside. In a bowl, toss peppers, onions, and garlic with salt, pepper, and fennel seed. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high flame. Add vegetables saute about 1 minute. Add chopped sausage, cook 2 minutes. Add pasta sauce from jar. *You know how when you pour sauce from a jar, and then you add a little water to jar to get the rest of the sauce out of it? Well instead of adding water, add the wine instead. Trust me on this*. Saute mixture another minute, stir in pasta and top with fresh grated Parmesan. Serve immediately