So not sure what's with me lately. Usually I pull something out the night before and have dinner planned way in advance. The usual routine is to pull out whatever meat I need at night before I head to bed. Lately I have not been doing that. I seem to be doing more fly by the seat of my pants meals. Which can be a challenge. I never know if I have all the ingredients I need. That happened tonight in fact. I went to grab the mozzarella cheese and voila it was gone. So had to replace it with something else or run to the store. I chose to substitute asiago. Luckily it worked out well. Otherwise I would have to hunt down the culprit who ate the moz. I may need to install a hidden camera, maybe two. One by the fridge and one by the pantry. That way when they all say I did not eat that, I don`t know what happened to that I can whip out the proof they did. There`s no way I have gnomes hiding in my fridge and cupboards eating up all my food. So I think cameras would be a great idea. At least until I eat all the ice cream and claim innocence. That`s a whole different ball game. Then I will have to erase any evidence. A girl has to do what a girl has to do.
Since I had nothing out or planned for dinner, I basically waited until I was starving and then scrambled around trying to gather up what I could to come up with something edible. I was going to do sausage and rice but I didn`t have enough rice. So I decided to try it with noodles. I`ve never made this dish and actually even experimented with ricotta cheese which I`ve never used before. So this was a total risky dish. I had no idea if it would work out or taste okay. I threw caution to the wind and just went with my gut. It turned out fabulous and I was quite pleased. The ricotta was good, I`ve not had it before. I`m sure I will use it again in other dishes. It has a nice taste and texture. Made the dish very creamy.
So if you've learned nothing from my blog other than anyone can cook and winging it works wonders then I have done my job. Not well, but you know, whatever. I enjoy cooking so much and I enjoy trying new things. So this has been a great journey for me. One I hope you continue to take with me. I love to share ideas and get feedback. So always feel free to leave me a comment. I enjoy hearing from you.
I have to admit this was a difficult dish for me. I have serious food quirks. One of them is I do not like my food to touch on my plate. So any time I make a meal that has stuff all mixed up it can be a challenge for me to get past my quirkiness. I`m okay with things like lasagna and tacos as they are suppose to be mixed up. It`s when I have it in my head that things don`t go together that I have issues. So tonight I found myself picking out the sausage and eating it on it`s own and then eating the rest. I caught myself a few times and forced myself to let my nuttiness go. Progress folks, progress!
So this is a picture of it finished and then with no further ado I`ll post the recipe. Enjoy!
Cheese and Sausage Pasta:
¼ sweet onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
3 jumbo Italian sausage cut into discs or chunks
½ green pepper, cut into chunks
½ red pepper, cut into chunks
340 g package of penne (I used Tinkyada organic brown rice penne), cooked and drained
1 and ½ spaghetti sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup parmesan
3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
¾ cup pasta water
1 cup asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (you could put it at 350 degrees, I did garlic bread with it so needed it hot)
Put on a pot of water for noodles and bring to a boil.
While waiting for water to boil, cut up your onion, shallot and peppers. Set aside.
Spray some non-stick spray in a large saute pan, drizzle in a bit olive oil and bring to a medium heat, adding your onion and shallot. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.
While it`s cooking cut up your sausage and add that to the pan. Cook this for about 8 or so minutes until the sausage is just starting to go golden.
Now add the peppers and continue cooking for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Your water should be boiled by now so go ahead and cook your pasta for about 5 minutes. It says 3, but I find the brown stays a bit too al dente.
Now add spaghetti sauce, sugar, parmesan, ricotta to your pan that has sausage and peppers and continue cooking for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Drain your pasta but make sure you set aside some pasta water.
Toss your pasta in the pan with sausages and peppers and mix well.
Now put the mixture in a casserole dish. I used a 3.5 quart dutch oven. You might need to add some pasta water to it. I used ¾ cup pasta water which helps the taste and texture. Mix it up nicely right in the dutch oven.
Sprinkle on the asiago cheese.
Now put in the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes. The cheese should just start to melt nicely.
Mini-me is a huge fan.
So this is tonight`s meal and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. It turned out better than I expected or hoped. I usually know if something is good by how many plates B-dude has. He had 2 so that is a good sign. Score one for Mom.