March 8, 2012

Week 53, Recipe 1: Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

  • This recipe is freezer friendly and filled two round casserole dishes.
  • Substitute the chicken for pork sausage if desired (or leave it out all together and add some sauteed zucchini or mushrooms).
  • You can bake the recipe frozen (takes about an hour and a half) or thaw in fridge and bake for about 45 minutes or do what I did and put the recipe frozen into your oven in the morning and set the bake timer so it's ready when you come home.
  • Original recipe from Martha Stewart
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream (half-and-half would be fine)
  • 1 lb pasta (penne, rigatoni, etc.)
  • 2 frozen cartons of chopped spinach, cooked in microwave according to package directions and then squeezed of excess liquid once cool
  • 12 oz smoked chicken sausage links
  • about 1 c. of grated Parmesan, Fontina, or Asiago cheese
1. Cook sausage links in a little oil over medium heat until sizzling. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan (about 1/2 cup), turn heat to medium low and cover, turning every few minutes until water has evaporated and sausage is cooked through. Remove sausages to cool and once cook, slice into 1/4-inch thick slices, slightly on the diagonal.  
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, in the same pan (drain any excess water), add oil and cook onion until translucent over low heat about 4 minutes. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds.
4. Stir in tomatoes and oregano, cook until tomatoes are falling apart, about 10 minutes.
5. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper as desired.
6. Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to large pot. Add tomato sauce, sausage, the chopped cooked (and drained) spinach, and about 1/2 c. of the cheese. Divide evenly between two greased round casserole dishes and top with remaining cheese.
7. Bake at 400 degrees, covered about 15 minutes then uncovered 5-10 minutes longer.

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