Since daylight savings time ended a couple of weeks ago, it seems like my evenings are flying by. It doesn’t help that it’s dark just after 5pm…it just mentally throws me off to where I feel behind, no matter what time I start cooking. So lately, I’m a fan of quicker meals.
I’m pretty sure I’ve made this dish at least a handful of times the past couple of months. It’s a quicker recipe, and you only need one (oven-safe pot) to make it happen. I didn’t think I’d really like this dish, but the combination of flavors and the subtle richness from the heavy cream, makes for a quick comfort food (perfect for weeknights).
You can also lighten the recipe up with a few adaptations. I sometimes substitute regular sausage with chicken or turkey sausage. I also have used whole wheat pasta with success. However, I haven’t messed with the heavy cream in the recipe. I feel like it’s such a small amount for the entire dish, and it just goes well with the cheese in the recipe to make for a wonderfully creamy dish.
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 lb. smoked sausage
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 15 oz. can low-sodium chicken broth
- 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles (mild or regular, depending on how spicy you want it)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz. penne pasta
- 1 tsp. cajun seasoning
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
- Add the canola oil to an oven-safe large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onions, and cook the mixture, stirring often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add and stir in the garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta and cajun seasoning to the mixture. Stir everything together well, and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Simmer the pasta until tender, about 15 minutes, uncovering and stirring every minute or so to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded monterey jack cheese. Top the pasta with the remaining cheese, as well as the sliced green onions. Place the pan in the broiler (or at a super high heat, like 450°F), and broil the pasta until the cheese is melty and starting to brown. Enjoy!