Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spicy Sausage 'n Cheese Pasta

This recipe was a Pinterest find, as are most of my trial recipes, and we really enjoyed it. It was sorta like a Mexican mac 'n cheese with delightful hits of salty sausage. We'd definitely do it again. The kids (ages 1 and 4yrs)  said it was too spicy, but they're wimps. My favorite part of making it was that it was SO simple! You don't boil the noodles ahead of time, just toss everything thing in a pot and simmer. This supper-procrastinating mama loved that, plus the noodles have lots of flavor from cooking in the broth. If ya give it a try, I hope you and yours enjoy it as much as we did!
Spicy Sausage Pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
1.5 cups diced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
4 cups low-sodium, all natural chicken broth
2 (10 oz) cans Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles OR cilantro lime
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 box penne pasta (or whatever you've got in bite-size)
1 teaspoon white pepper (cut back on this if you have wimpy kids, like me)
 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup sliced scallions (optional)
1. Heat olive oil to an oven-safe pot (I use my beautiful, cast iron le cruset look-a-like from Aldi) over medium high heat until hot. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned -you want that good color and roasted taste.
2. Add broth, rotel cans (undrained), uncooked pasta, garlic powder and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and add cream. Simmer until pasta is al dente, stirring occationally to keep it wet. Check for doneness at 12 minutes.
3. Remove beautiful blue pot from heat and stir in 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions (I didn't have any on hand, but the inspirational recipe I adapted this from called for them, and I think they'd be a nice addition.). Broil until cheese is melted, lightly browned, and bubbly.
Makes 8 servings.