So…the other night I was caught up in kids homework, laundry, an issue at school–well, life, and realized OH MY GOSH it is dinner TIME and I have NOT STARTED. Yikes. It happens, right? Right??
A lot of times on nights like these, it is bowl some pasta and unscrew a cap of our favorite pasta sauce. Viola, dinner! But I had the idea to try something like this in the back of my mind and thought, oh well, tonight is the night!
It worked out great! It was SO fast to make, not much longer than the boil pour approach I had first contemplated, but it had so much more going on than that! I suggest it for a easy, but not the same old pasta and sauce night.
I opted, per usual, for using wheat pasta, half in half with cheese instead of heavy cream, and a lower fat sausage. These can all be subbed to your liking.
Creamy & Spicy Sausage Pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 Lb. smoked sausage, you can use turkey or chicken (I used Turkey:)
1 cup diced onion
2 TBSP minced Garlic or 2 Cloves
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes (I like the cilantro lime but you can go with the green chili and/or mild version)
1/2 cup half and half (you CAN use heavy cream and skip the extra 1/4 cup cheese stirred)
12 oz pasta, I used a fun penne like noodle but this could be about any shape pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 to 1 1/4 cup Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup (it is a topping so how much is your call) sliced scallions
1. Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned. For me, this was about 5 minutes. While this is cooking, add 1/4 cup of the cheese to your half and half and stir it up.
2. Stir in the garlic and allow to cook about one minute more.
3. Now, add the broth, tomatoes, half and half with the added cheese, pasta, salt and pepper and stir it all up. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the pasta is tender which should be about 15 minutes.
4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in about 1/2 cup cheese of the cheese, it should melt right in.
5. For step 5, you have the option to simply top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions or to add the cheese and scallions and pop it on your oven to broil until cheese is melted and just a tad browned. The second is quite tasty, but the first works just as well in a time crunch!