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Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Once upon a time I went on a crazy low carb diet. Why you might ask? Jumping on the bandwagon, who really knows. Was I crazy? I just may have been indeed.

Thankfully, I knocked some sense into myself (a long, long, time ago) and I enjoy pasta and bread, the whole nine yards.  To think, if somehow, maybe 10 years later, I didn’t eat pasta, I would have never discovered this dish.

My familia was in town, and it was me against 3 hungry appetites. I had seen this dish earlier and certainly wanted to try it out. What I love about baked pasta dishes, is that they are so easy to make and prepare. With my parents here, I knew I wanted something we could make ahead of time and then pop it in the oven.

This dish received rave reviews and made oh so plenty.


Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

What you need:
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 medium red onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 cup vodka
1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1 lb penne
1/2 cup heavy cream
-10 ounces baby spinach
-12 ounces chicken sausage, halved lengthwise & sliced 1/4 inch thick
-6 ounces shredded Italian cheese
-1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Once boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Add spinach, cooking just until wilted. Drain and return contents to pot.
2. While water is coming to a boil, heat oil is a separate skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, cooking until translucent (approximately 3 minutes). Stir in garlic. Remove skillet from heat, stir in vodka, and return to heat, cooking until almost evaporated (about 1 minute).
3. Stir in tomatoes and oregano, cooking for 10-15 minutes, until tomatoes are falling apart. Add cream/milk and cook until warmed through (5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add tomato sauce, sausage, and most of the Italian cheese to the large pot with the pasta. Toss with a large spoon to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Put in baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese and parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees until browned and crisp (20-30 minutes).

Adapted from: The Sweets Life








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