Smoked Sausage with Pasta


Smoked Sausage with Pasta

 

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. 

Verdict:

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Directions:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to instructions to al dente.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Once the sauce has thickened add pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning,.
  6. Add cheese and continue to stir until completely combined and melted.
  7. Pour the sausage mixture into the pan with the pasta and return to medium heat.  Stir constantly until all ingredients are heated through. 
  8. Remove from heat immediately once all ingredients are warm.  Serve with a garnish of cheese and parsley if desired.

 

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