Ingredients on hand (that I felt like using): Hot Italian sausage links, broccoli, assorted peppers, and pasta. My original plan was to crumble the sausage and cook it with the veggies and then toss with pasta, similar to these recipes for Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe and Pasta with Sausage, Broccoli, and Red Peppers.
But last minute I decided that baking everything together with a Mornay sauce would be good (Mornay is what a Bechamel sauce becomes when you add cheese). I threw this together as I went along.
Jon grilled the sausage so we wouldn't make such a mess in the kitchen - you know, all the grease that splatters when you brown sausage, and that aroma that sticks around for a day or two.
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- Assorted peppers, chopped. I used half each of a green, red, and yellow pepper
- 1 sm onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3/4 lb dry pasta - I used Rotini
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 c light cream or half and half - I used a mixture of both
- 1 c shredded cheese - I used mostly Parmesan and a touch of cheddar
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Optional: red pepper flakes
- 4 links sausage, grilled or cooked, and sliced into rounds (or crumbled and cooked if that's how you like it)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove. Add the peppers and cook for 45 seconds. Remove. Cook pasta in this water once the veggies are removed. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water.
- Heat butter and oil in a pot. Add garlic and onions. Cook 2 minutes.
- Add flour and stir until coated
- Add cream, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a steady simmer.
- Remove from heat and whisk in your cheeses (it's best to add cheese off the heat to keep it from getting chalky). Adjust seasonings if needed.
- Toss pasta, veggies, and sausage with the sauce. Pour into a baking dish.
- Cover and cook on 400 for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
We both loved this. The sauce was so creamy, the sausage gave the entire dish great flavor, and I loved the extra kick from the red pepper flakes.
It makes a ton...my dad is getting lunch tomorrow and we're even going to have the leftovers for dinner tomorrow (if you know my husband, you know he's not crazy about leftovers except for his famous roast beef, chili, and meatballs/sauce). So that says a lot about this dish!!
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