I think I am now past all the computer glitches and malfunctions. It has been a maddening 2 weeks trying to get it all turned around. Just when you think you have it all something else “pops-up.” Ugh!
So I am still on the comfort food theme for dinners. Tax season has 5 days left and I am counting each one anxiously. After it is over we will be taking a break and visiting family and friends for a few days. I can’t wait. We are heading back home and my children have made a list of all the restaurants we need to visit and the foods we need to bring back with us. Yes, I am raising to little foodies.
This dinner came from searching Pinterest for Smoked Sausage. The grocery store had a good sale at the beginning of October when they were 2/$4.00. Of course I had to buy 6 and then needed to figure out what to do with them.
I found a recipe for Creamy Penne Pasta Casserole at Simple Comfort Food.com. This looked like a good jumping off recipe for me. I didn’t have chicken or Anaheim peppers so I decided to make my own substitutions and see where it took us.
This was a good meal. It felt like a nice warm hug. It had the cheesy goodness of macaroni and cheese with a hint of spice from the Old Bay Seasoning and the peppers and onions gave it a bit of texture.
My children both said though it wasn’t their absolute favorite dish I have made recently they both liked it enough to have second helpings.
I served this with a green salad for a complete dinner on the go.
- 1 lb pasta, cooked slightly al dente, drained
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red pepper, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 (14 oz.) packages of smoked sausage or kielbasa, cut into quarter rounds
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 16 oz fat-free half and half
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 cups cheese, shredded – Use your favorites – mine were mozzarella, cheddar and Monterey Jack
- Extra cheese and dried parsley for garnish if desired.
- Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to instructions to al dente.
- While pasta is cooking over medium-high heat begin to cook the olive oil, peppers, onions, spinach, garlic and sausage. Stir often. Once the spinach has wilted remove the pan from heat.
- In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and stir constantly for about 3-5 minutes. The butter may begin to brown slightly.
- Slowly drizzle the fat-free half and half into the pan with the butter mixture continuing to stir constantly. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. This may take up to 10 minutes.
- Once the sauce has thickened add pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning,.
- Add cheese and continue to stir until completely combined and melted.
- Pour the sausage mixture into the pan with the pasta and return to medium heat. Stir constantly until all ingredients are heated through.
- Remove from heat immediately once all ingredients are warm. Serve with a garnish of cheese and parsley if desired.