Laura Rennie

Laura’s chicken and sausage pasta

Laura R.Comment
Whenever I cook up a pasta or soup I try to use just enough meat to make the dish hearty, but not so much that you get a piece of meat in every bite. This allows me to use the remaining meat for other meals and it encourages me to use more fresh produce and other sources of protein to “bulk up” a dish.

I made this soup a few weeks ago and had two remaining hot Italian sausages in the freezer. I also made chicken noodle soup recently and had two leftover chicken breasts. I try to use what I have on hand when I go to make dinner, so I thought I’d combine the two proteins and use up one of the boxes of pasta from our pantry. I’ve made enough pasta dishes from other people’s recipes that I’m now confident in doing my own thing. I make a lot of dishes on the fly and only ever pull out my measuring spoons when I’m trying a new recipe for the first time, but this time I thought, remember what you do so you can write a blog post about it!

I wanted to go as basic (and budget-friendly) as possible without compromising on flavor. This is going to look like one of those “no duh” recipes—but let’s be honest, those bare bone recipes make it so easy to customize to your liking!

If you can, add the fresh parsley and romano cheese. (I’m going to use the remaining romano for cauliflower fritters. You should, too! Parmesan or mozzarella would also work.) Doesn’t pasta make the best leftovers? I prefer to heat this dish up over the stove rather than using the microwave, because I hate the smell and taste of microwaved chicken.

Update: I made a similar version of this tonight and used only sausage. I also added mushrooms, diced tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste (to deepen the flavor) and a second bell pepper. SO YUM. A splash of wine and/or a couple handfuls of spinach would also be delish.

Notes:
Along with a pasta pot, you will need a large dutch oven or a large and deep lidded skillet for this recipe. (I use a really old pot that looks like this.) This dish could take only 30 min start to finish, but if you can, let the sauce simmer for 45-60 minutes. If you want to simmer your sauce for even longer, remove the cooked chicken and sausage from the pot and put it back in an hour before serving.

ugh, grainy cell phone pic. you can’t see the chicken or sausage well,
but I got plenty!

Laura’s chicken and sausage pasta
30-60 min. | serves 6

nearly all of one box rigatoni or penne (I left one serving in the box to use for a future lunch)
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 large onion or one small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 hot or mild Italian sausage links, casing removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can tomato sauce (or two 8 oz cans)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 dried bay leaves
optional garnishes: fresh parsley and/or grated parmesan or romano cheese

1. Assemble ingredients and chop your veggies and meat. (If you’re wanting to turn this into a quick dinner, boil water for the pasta now, then cook it and drain it until you’re ready to add it to the sauce.)

2. Heat 1.5 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven. Add diced onion and bell pepper. Let them sizzle for about 30 seconds, stir, go another 30 seconds, stir and then lower the heat to low. Cover and continue to cook for 10 minutes, occasionally lifting the lid to stir.

3. Remove the onion and bell pepper from the pot and set aside. Add the remaining 1.5 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in the same large pot that you cooked your onion/pepper in. Once hot, drop in chicken and sausage. Cook for about a minute, stir, then cover the pan and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes, occasionally lifting the lid to stir.

4. Add the sautéed onion and bell pepper back into the pot with the meat, as well as the last 7 ingredients (the tomato sauce, garlic and various seasonings). Cover the pot and turn to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for as long as you’re willing to wait! Add more seasonings to taste.

5. About 30 minutes from when you’re ready to eat, boil water for the pasta and follow cooking instructions.

6. Drain pasta and stir it into the sauce. Serve with parsley or cheese on top if desired.