Who didn’t enjoy macaroni and cheese with hot dogs as a kid? Heck I won’t lie, my husband and I still enjoy it from time to time. This recipe puts a grown up spin on a childhood favorite (without all the processed ingredients and fake cheese). I think if Tyler were here to taste it, he would approve. What’s not to love about meat, cheese and pasta? What I also love about this recipe is it has a little kick for those of you who like to spice it up! The mix of smoked sausage and creamy Monterey Jack cheese makes this dish a win!
SPICY SAUSAGE PASTA
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds (I used Butterball brand)
1 1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles, Original Style
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded Thinly sliced scallions
Salt, to taste
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) until smoking.
Add the sausage and onion, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the broth, Ro-Tel, heavy cream, uncooked pasta, and pepper, and give the mixture a good stir. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. Preheat the broiler while the pasta is cooking.
Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Taste, and add salt as needed. Top with the scallions and remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned – about 3 minutes.
Leftovers the next day are just as delicious!