Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Weeknight Magic

While I try to make easy weeknight meals, I don't always accomplish "easy."  There is a chili recipe I've wanted to try out and a pizza recipe, but last night I just wasn't feeling either recipe since they both seemed too time consuming.  I found some pasta in the pantry and some Italian sausage in the freezer, so I thought I'd whip up a one-pot wonder.  

My husband and I got in the kitchen and whipped it up.  I usually make everyone wait to eat until I get pictures.  I got a phone call that I had to take, so my husband said he'd take the pictures.  Now, I'm usually really REALLY picky about the pictures of my food, but I reluctantly agreed.  And look at how pretty his picture turned out!  It's fabulous!  And so is this Spicy Sausage Pasta.  The pasta cooks right in the same pot as everything else, so it's really pretty easy.  Enjoy!

1 lb Italian sausage, sliced diagonally
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 C chicken stock
1 1/2 C of canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 C heavy cream
1 lb pasta, any shape
2 T Italian parsley, chopped
2 C shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 C red wine
Olive oil
Red chili flakes, to taste
1 C water (may or may not be necessary)

NOTE:  I used a thick pasta for this, mezzi rigatoni.  I needed the additional stock and the cup of water to get the pasta to finish cooking.  If you are using a thinner pasta, like bowtie, shells, macaroni, etc., start with the 3 C chicken stock and wait to see if you need the water.

Drizzle some olive oil into a dutch oven or large pot.  Cook the sausage on high (watch out for spattering oil) until browned well on both sides.  Remove the sausage from the pot and turn the heat down to medium high.  Add in the onions and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  Add in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring up any browned bits.  Add in the chicken stock, sausage, tomatoes, heavy cream, garlic, pasta, and chili flakes, to taste.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the pasta is tender, adding in the extra stock and possibly the water to keep your sauce around until the pasta is done.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and parsley.


  1. So, I was a little skeptical when I saw the pasta gets cooked in the same pot as the sauce, but WHOA! did this turn out well. I love to cook and I love to try new recipes, probably making 40-50 new dishes a month. For a recipe to end up anywhere but in my trash bin, the results must KNOCK OUR SOCKS OFF. This one, friends, will go into my permanent collection. I used chicken apple sausage and omitted the Pepper Jack cheese. I did grate Parmesan over the dish after it finished cooking.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Laura! I'm so glad you liked it, and thank you for letting me know!

  2. Stupid question... did you buy the raw Italian sausage, cut, and then cook or cook and then cut? Or is there a pre-cooked Italian sausage that is hiding somewhere in the grocery store?

    1. Not a stupid question at all. I bought raw sausage, cut it, then cooked it. I haven't seen any precooked. I hope you enjoy it, Amanda!

  3. Wow! Great recipe. I had some leftover sausage and canned tomatoes I was looking to use so this was JUST what I was looking for. Thank you for sharing! Definitely a recipe to save.

  4. Do you think this would freeze well? I have to be away for 5 weeks, hubby doesn't cook so I need easy pop in the oven recipes.

    1. Hi, Kim! I would like to say yes it will, but I'm not sure about the cream in the sauce. I have found that white cream sauces break down when they defrost. However, with the tomatoes, maybe it will be okay. Sorry I wasn't more help! If you do freeze it, please let me know how it turns out!