Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What to do with all that sausage...

So what can you use that Trader Joe's Chicken Sausage that you just ran out and bought after reading yesterday's post?  Oh, funny you should ask.  How about one of my favorite recipes: Sausage and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta.  It's from Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food cookbook, but since I don't have the cookbook in front of me, I don't have the exact recipe.

By the way, you can also use regular sausage or turkey sausage with this recipe.  I'll bet any kind of regular or spicy variety would taste great.  Also, when you buy your sun-dried tomatoes, get them in oil; you can use the yummy oil in the pasta.

What you'll need:
  • 5 or 6 links of sausage (turkey, chicken, or pork) 
  • 1 lb box of rotini pasta
  • 1 small to medium sized jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Pitted olives (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
How to make it:

1)  First, bring a pot of water to boil.  If the sausage is uncooked, boil it for 5-6 minutes.  This will get some of the fat out and help the sausage stay together when you cut it.  Once you drain the sausage, you can rinse out the pot and bring another pot of water to boil for the pasta.

2)  Slice the sausage into bite-sized pieces (careful: it's hot!).  You might want to take the casing off, too, because sometimes it can fall off and just be a nuisance in your pasta.

3)  Take the tomatoes out of the oil, but don't throw away the oil!  Cut the big tomatoes into bite-sized pieces as well so they will go further in the pasta.  The amount here is up to you; I love sun-dried tomatoes, so I use more rather than less.  If you're using olives, you can cut them up too.  (I hate olives- hate, hate, hate them.  Yuck!)

4)   If you haven't gotten that pasta in to boil yet, do it now.  Yep, the whole box.  We're going for leftovers, here.

5)  Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Cook the minced garlic for about 30 seconds, and then throw the sausage in there and cook until it starts to brown.

6)  Once the sausage is almost ready, add in the sun-dried tomatoes and optional olives.  Cook for a couple more minutes, until the tomatoes and olives start getting hot and wilty.  I apologize for that odd description.

7)  When the pasta is ready, drain it well and add it to the pan.  I hope you used a big pan so that you don't have any overflow when you stir.  Incorporate all of the ingredients together, drizzling enough olive oil (this is where you can use the sun-dried tomato juice!) to lightly cover the pasta.

8)  Voila!  Serve and enjoy.  And if you want, add some balsamic vinegar... you'll thank yourself later.

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