more often than not i find myself simply throwing a bunch of food into a pan or pot, adding some spices & crossing my fingers that it turns out the way i've planned.
last night i had sausage. that's right- sausage. i cooked 1lb of sausage & i needed to figure out what to do with it so my family wouldn't "starve" on Monday night (when i knew i'd be too tired to actually cook anything for dinner)
after staring into space for 20 min- this is what i came up with.
Sausage & Pasta Bake
1/2 lb sausage (mild, hot, sweet- whatever you like)
3/4 lb pasta (that's like 3/4 of a box or 4 cups cooked pasta)
3 cups pasta water (retain 2 1/2 cups of the water you use to boil the pasta)
1 cup white wine (i usually use Vermouth, but i was out. so marsala it was)
1/2 heavy whipping cream
2 beef bullion cubes
3 heavy tblsp capers
2 tsp caper juice
3 tblsp cornstarch
1/2 cup shredded parmesean cheese
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
salt, basil, onion powder, allspice, minced garlic, hot sauce (to taste)
Pre-heat oven to 375º slice your sausage longways, place on a baking sheet, season with minced garlic & hot sauce & bake for 20-25 min (just like in the Zuppa Toscana recipe below)
While your sausage is cooking: Fill a pan with water, salt & set to boil. Boil your pasta until al-dente.
While the sausage & pasta are going- get the rest of your items together:
as you can see- i mix my cornstarch with enough water to dissolve it. this = smooth sauce as opposed to lumpy gross sauce. genius.
Once your sausage is done- cut it up (i used a fork & knife) into bite sized pieces (again, like the Zuppa Toscana recipe below) and set aside. (p.s. i cooked a full 1 lb of sausage, but i only needed 1/2 lb for this recipe. i'll use the rest for something else.)
Once your pasta is done- reserve 3 cups of the water & drain the rest.
As your pasta drains- pour the 3 cups of water back into the pan along with the wine, beef bullion cubes, capers, caper juice and spices (to taste).
On medium-high heat- allow the broth & wine mix to reduce by about 1/3. After it's reduced, add the whipping cream & stir. Slowly pour in the cornstarch (stirring as you do)
Reduce the heat to medium-low & allow the mixture to thicken up a bit (you can adjust the cornstarch to your pref)
Once the mix has thickened, add the pasta, sausage & the parmesean cheese to the pan & stir to coat:
then pour the rest of the pasta in & sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup of swiss cheese.
bake at 375º for about 20-25 min (i spray some foil with cooking spray & cover my pasta. this cuts down on crispy noodles & burnt cheese. i take the foil off for the last 5-10 min of baking time.)
as i said, this is actually for Monday night's dinner (i held off on baking until tonight) but i did have enough extra to fill one of my personal sized casserole dishes. so i baked that & the husband ate it last night. he deemed it "delicious".