Thursday, April 29, 2010

Penne With Chicken Sausage & Three Cheeses

Again, no photo today, folks. A girl has gotta enjoy her food sometime without worrying if the camera is around, right?

This concoction was delicious. I think chicken sausage has great, piquant flavor and pairs well with obviously, pasta, cheese, and sauteed veggies, so that is how this dish was born. Just a bunch of stuff in my fridge that ended making it into here. I loved each bite and so did my husband.

If you have a Trader Joes in your region (lucky you), then I used their sun-dried tomato and basil chicken sausage as well as their basic basil marinara sauce, my favorite. You may use any marinara and any type of chicken sausage that tickles your palate.

Again, I'm terrible at measuring when it comes to creating recipes, so please improvise and use more or less of what's recorded; however, what I have typed out is pretty accurate to how I did it.

Penne Pasta Casserole with Chicken Sausage & Three Cheeses

1/2 lb whole wheat penne pasta (or any short type pasta)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
~3 garlic cloves, minced
1 package sliced mushrooms
1-2 zucchini, diced
1 package chicken sausage (5 big links about), sliced
1 jar marinara sauce
~5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
~1/2 cup freshly grated Parm cheese
2 oz Mascorpone cheese or cream cheese
Red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese

In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta until just al dente. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 400.

Meanwhile, place onion, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini, and chicken sausage in a large skillet with plenty of olive oil. Saute, stirring often on medium high heat until everything is tender. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil leaves, marinara sauce, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cream cheese is blended and everything is well incorporated. Taste for seasoning adjustments. Add in red pepper flakes if you wish for some zing.

Mix in drained pasta. Pour this mixture into a large casserole dish and cover with Mozz. cheese. Bake for about 25-35 minutes until the cheese is very melted and the sauce is bubbling.

Serve hot with ciabatta bread on the side.

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