Sweet Italian Sausage and Pasta

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Frequently I will buy a large pack of sweet Italian sausage links knowing that they are easy to prepare for dinner.  Sadly, I often prepare the sausages the same way, always with some type of tomato sauce~ simmered in marinara sauce with peppers and onions, served over spaghetti with tomato sauce, sliced and cooked on pizza with tomato sauce.  There's a definite patter of sausage and tomato sauce.

With the a pound of sausage links to use and my apathy of late with tomato sauce, I tried something different.  Not too creamy and not cheese based like Alfredo {cheese sauce with sausage just sounded like it would drop straight to the bottom of my gut}, I made a thin sauce with chicken broth which was a perfect compliment.

Once the sausage has cooked, it is sliced then browned with onions.  This tends to leave lots of seasoned bits stuck to the pan.  But those bits come off easily when a sauce is made in the same pan, and they help flavor the sauce.  The flavor is not intense, like a tomato sauce can be, but it the mildness with the pasta and sausage makes quite a delicious dish.  Actually, it is one that we have not had leftovers of because it is so well liked.

Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta
1 lb sweet Italian sausage links {about 6 links}
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/3 c flour
3 c chicken broth
1 1b box short pasta {such as cut fusilli, penne or even egg noodles}
fresh parsley, chopped {for garnishing}
fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Place sausage in skillet and add water to reach half way up sausage. Heat to simmer and cook til water is evaporated; turn sausages over and add water to half way up sausages again. Simmer til water is evaporated again. Remove sausages and slice into circles. Return sausages to frying pan and add chopped onion; cook over medium~high heat til sausage is browned and onions are tender. While sausages are browning, begin pasta and cook according to package directions.

Reduce heat to medium and add butter to skillet; melt and stir, scraping up bits of sausage stuck to pan. Sprinkle sausage and onion with flour; stir. Slowly stir in chicken broth, scraping skillet. As you add the broth, you will find the bits scrape easily off the skillet. These bits season the sauce nicely. Once sauce begins to simmer, continue to simmer for 5 minutes to slightly thicken sauce. Remove from heat and keep covered.

Drain pasta. Add sausage and sauce; combine. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Tips and Tricks~
*Prepare sausage ahead of time up to the browning point. Slice and refrigerate or freeze. When you want to make this dish, pick back up at the browning point. I love preparing ingredients ahead of time. The grocery stores have caught on to that; they sell all types of prepared ingredients in nice packages.
* Use a metal skillet, not a non~stick one. The sausages will wreak havoc on non~stick pans and the metal pan will easily clean up, especially after scraping the bits off while adding the broth.
*This dish is excellent with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts. Place sprouts on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil and coarse salt. Roast for 20 minutes in a 400F oven.

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1 comment:

Catching my breath. Be back ASAP.