Saturday, March 30, 2013

Skillet Sausage and Penne Pasta

What a simple, easy, and comforting dish!

D has gotten another round of the cold, and I knew the cheesy cream sauce and softness of the pasta would help soothe his throat. I love this dish because it is so easy to whip up on a weeknight and it is so delicious! And- no need to pre-make the pasta.... you dump the the dry pasta right into the same skillet as you're cooking everything else. Got to love the 1-skillet, dump it all method.

But realistically, this truly is delicious, and D had 2 (generous) helpings of this. One of our favorite weeknight meals.

Skillet Sausage and Penne Pasta

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced (we get this turkey sausage and love it)
  • 1-1/2 cups diced onions* (we use 2 medium onions, chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 10-oz can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles (mild) (we also use regular 15-oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (we've used skim milk and it still tastes great)
  • 8-oz penne pasta
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper (we use 3/4 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 cup Monterey-Jack cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions**
* As a note, I use frozen diced onions when I have them in my freezer (total timesaver!)
** If I have them, I'll add them but the dish still tastes great without

  1. Add olive oil to a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add sliced smoked sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the diced onions and sauté until semi-tender and golden in color (4-5 minutes if using frozen diced, 5-7 minutes if using fresh onions).
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the chicken broth/stock, tomatoes, heavy cream, pasta, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in 1 cup cheese until melted through.
  6. Place the skillet back over medium-low heat and cook the pasta dish uncovered until the sauce is no longer runny and has thickened. If your sauce is already thick, you can omit this step. (I cooked the dish over medium heat for another 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally so it wouldn't burn.)
  7. Once the sauce has thickened, sprinkle with scallions and additional salt & pepper (or Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning) until desired taste.
Yield: 4 servings
Source: Adapted from Kevin & Amanda, originally from America's Test Kitchen


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