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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spicy sausage pasta skillet

I have been so excited about this recipe for weeks.  I don't know if I repinned it from a friend or if I discovered it on my own on Pinterest or when I was blog surfing.  I can't remember, but after making my post on Sunday with my menu for the week I noticed that one of the blogs I follow had the same title for her Sunday night post.  She must have found the recipe and gotten as excited as I did.  Hers sounded almost like mine, except of course I had to make a substitution to please the picky eater around here and hers used a different type of cheese.

One of the reasons I was particularly interested in this meal is because it uses one skillet.  Everything cooks together, including the pasta thanks to the chicken broth in the recipe.  I wasn't sure I had an actual skillet big enough for the recipe so I used one of my soup pots and I'm glad I did because it made a lot of food!  It all comes together really quickly as well so it'll be perfect for laundry day next time I make it.

I know I've mentioned that Aaron is a picky eater, but I'm not sure you grasp just how finicky he is.  If a recipe has onions, bell peppers, or tomatoes in it you can pretty much count it out unless you don't mind using tomato sauce in place of the tomatoes and onion powder in place of the onion.  There is nothing you can substitute for bell peppers that will please him so I always just leave them out.  He won't eat rice, ever, and he only eats pinto beans or white/navy beans and even then he only eats them in chili or white chicken chili.  If I make something besides beef stew with vegetables in it he won't eat it.  He doesn't like peas or carrots or celery.  He hates broccoli and if he has so much as a tiny shred of lettuce near his food he freaks out.  Okay, he doesn't freak out but he does get pretty angry.  The only kind of fish he eats is canned tuna and even that is iffy.  I have only seen him eat a steak once.  He almost always chooses chicken if it is an option, which is why we eat so much chicken here.  Honestly, it's easier to list what he will eat than what he won't.  When we first met eight and a half years ago he pretty much only ate chicken fingers and french fries, pizza, macaroni and cheese, and ramen noodles with spaghetti sauce on them.  Oh, and hot dogs at his parents' house.

He once joked with me that he liked vegetables... as long as they weren't good for you.  That is to say he likes corn and potatoes as vegetables even though they both really qualify as a starch.  I have managed to get him to eat canned green beans which is why they are my go-to vegetable when we have a starch heavy meal.  By the way, all my life I have thought I was a picky eater, until I met Aaron and realized I'm practically a human garbage disposal compared to him.

This probably sounds like a complaint.  I'd like to clarify that I am not complaining about my wonderful fiance.  I love him so much and he is such a good man.  He takes care of our little family and I can't imagine life without him.  We do dislike some of the same foods.  I am thankful that I will never have to cook an onion or cut a slimy raw tomato for him.  I only wish, for his own sake, that he would be a little more open to trying new foods because you never know if you like it or not until you try it.

So, we tried a new food tonight.  He had never had smoked sausage before tonight and I think he liked it.  I wasn't too worried about it because it's a meat and meats are easier to like than vegetables.  I think that dinner was a hit tonight.  I think I'm going to be able to add it to future menus without complaint.

In case you are concerned, it's not really very spicy.  I think the name was a bit misleading for me because I was expecting more of a kick, but if you like spicy food you could add a little crushed red pepper flake or go for a hotter pepper than green chillies.

Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into discs
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced green chillies
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz dry pasta shapes (I used rainbow rotini tonight)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 oz Monterrey jack cheese, shredded and divided in half

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  

Add the smoked sausage and cook until it is just starting to brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and let it cook about 30 seconds.

Add the broth, tomato sauce, green chillies, cream, pasta, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 15-17 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked to your liking.  

Remove from heat once it's all cooked down. 

Cover it with cheese and let it melt a bit.

Serve it hot!

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