Kickin’ Sausage and Cheese Pasta

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Do you know what I’m not doing tonight? Work. I’m done. I had a long day – work at my lab from 9-2, class from 2:30-4, meeting from 4-5, osteology lab from 5-6, and grocery shopping from 6-7. I’m tired of working. I’m laying in bed, blogging. And no one will stop me. (I may even eat some chocolate kisses – getting wild over here!)

All this work seems even more difficult and taxing than usual. Why? Because I just got done with a glorious week-long, restful, fun spring break. No, I didn’t do anything wild – no beaches or cross-country travel. I went home to visit my parents. And since none of my friends were in town I spent a lot of time with family, which is just what I needed.

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heating up the sausage and onions – I could have just eaten this and been happy

I love being home. My parents are such excellent and supportive people, every time I’m home it’s a mental break. I actually did a lot of crafting while I was home too – I’m finishing up an infinity scarf and I got started on a t-shirt quilt (which I’ll be sure to blog about when finished). Thank God my mom knew something about sewing… or I would have ended up with a mess.

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after adding the stock and noodles – the liquid will cook out!

Another reason I love being home is that they always have a stocked fridge (and a cast-iron skillet)! I ate tons of vegetables and fruits, so my body got a break too. But, I couldn’t resist cooking up one not-so-healthy dish. This has a bit of a kick (keep in mind – I’m a complete baby with spice) and the parents seemed to like it. We all definitely noticed that it seems like a grown-up version of a childhood meal: hotdogs cut up in macaroni and cheese!

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My ma and I both have the habit of taking photos all the time (much to my dad’s “delight”)

Recap: perfect break, perfect meal

“Kickin’ Sausage and Cheese Pasta”

Adapted from: http://abitchinkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/09/spicy-sausage-pasta.html

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 14-ounce package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, original style
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 12 ounces uncooked penne pasta (you can add more or less depending on skillet size)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

  1. I highly recommend to have everything sliced and, if possible, measured out. Once you start cooking, it will go quickly and you’ll want to be ready!
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet (or another pan that’s safe for the oven). Wait until the oil smokes (and it will)!
  3. Throw in the sausage and onion, cooking until the onions start to brown, around 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Add broth, Ro-Tel, milk, uncooked pasta, and pepper. Stir the deliciousness.
  5. Bring to a boil and cover the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  6. Heat until the pasta is tender, around 15 minutes. Stir once or twice while cooking (I stirred every 5 minutes).
  7. Preheat the broiler.
  8. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Top with 1/2 cup of cheese and broil until the cheese is melted (around 3 minutes).

Like I said, this had a bit of a kick to it and I actually enjoyed the leftovers more, after the flavors were able to mix. It’s an easy meal and I’ll definitely be making it again once I see sausages on sale.

As for now, I’m going to head to bed early after reading my book set in Rome. Daydreaming until I can get there… not too much longer! I wish I was still home relaxing, but only 7 more weeks until I’m done with my first year of grad school! Honestly – how does time go so quickly?

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my absolute favorite place to eat dinner

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