Monday, September 19, 2011

Spicy Sausage Alfredo

Sometimes I surprise myself. I even contradict myself. It's my womanly right. Normally I like fresh ingredients. Homemade sauces, homemade spice blends, organic vegetables. But then I get busy. Really busy! I was planning The Tortured Teenagers graduation party, planning her moving away, micro-managing my Ballplayer's schedule (when he practices, when he studies, when he's allowed to have a personal life) and all that combined with being a wife, a friend, being a blogger makes it hard even for me to find the time to cook.

Tonight we are trying Philadelphia cream cheese's Cooking Creme. Of course, I'm doing it my way, adding spicy turkey Italian sausages, zucchini, garlic and my favorite, sun-dried tomatoes. I was little apprehensive, tweeting "I'm cooking w Philadelphia cooking creme for first time. Don't let me down. I'm a food blogger" but it was good. Really good. I've cooked with cream cheese before. I like to add it to spaghetti sauce. It is subtle adding a cheese flavor without the stringiness that The Ballplayer dislikes. But tonight's meal isn't adding it to a sauce. It is the sauce. And a yummy one at that. In fact it's so good that I could get in trouble with this tub of creamy yumminess. I could dip bread into it or crackers. But not tonight.

Spicy Sausage Alfredo
1 package spicy Italian sausages (I'm using turkey to cut the calories down)
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 zucchinis chopped
1 box farfalle noodles (or your favorite)
3 TB sundried tomatoes drained and chopped
1 tub Philadelphia cooking creme (herb flavored)

Easy Ingredients
Again I am using Turkey just to cut down on the calories since I have a heavy sauce in the dish. That's just me, pork would be awesome in the dish
I sprayed my pan with some cooking spray just in case they stuck. I have crappy pans so sometimes added precautions are necessary
Cook the sausages. I like to brown them in a pan and cook until a meat thermometer reads at least 165 degrees. (The Fireman prefers them charred. Black. Burnt. No thank you)
Chop up your zucchini. These are pathetically small and cost a small fortune. I have three plants in my garden growing. I can't wait till I can complain I have too much on my hands. You could substitute fresh for frozen. Frozen is always a great option.Place sausages on a plate or cutting board to rest. Just set them aside and keep your kids from snagging to make a sandwich.Either in the same pan or in a clean pan, cook the zuchini. I used a new pan. But I'm spiteful and use up extra dishes when my teens annoy me. If you have teens, you understand. If your kids are young...we'll talk later.Now is a good time to cook your pasta. Once the water is boiling, add a good tablespoon of kosher salt. Seasoning the water really does make a difference. Salty water makes good pasta.This old beat up cup, I use for saving pasta water. Right before you drain the pasta, carefully grab some water. I do this just about every time I make pasta. Pasta water just makes it all come together. Use it to thin a sauce or make the dish come together.I put my sun dried tomatoes between some napkins. I don't need the extra oil or calories in this recipe. This isn't a must but I think it works well in this recipe.Chop them up. You could leave them in the julienne state (well that's the version I buy) but I like to have a little bit of tomato in each bite.
Cut up the sausage into bite size pieces. I'm leaving a couple on the plate for my picky Ballplayer. He doesn't like sauce or rather won't try it.Add the garlic and sundried tomatoes to the pan. I turn down the heat to low.Add the sausage to the zucchini mixture and turn the heat to low just to keep it warm.
Add the drained pasta back to the pan. And with the stove off, add the Philadelphia cooking creme. I expected it to pour out but I needed a spoon to get it out of the tub. This is when I tasted it. Oh my...yummy. Add some bread and I would be in trouble. Big trouble. Mix it up well.

Add the sausage/zucchini mixture to the cheesy pasta pan. Mix and serve.I'm garnishing with some parsley from my garden. Only my herbs are ready for use. I can't wait for everything else! Grow baby garden! Grow!


Candace said...

I've been eyeing those cooking sauces. I like to use fresh, from scratch ingredients, as well, but we live in real life where we get really busy and it's nice to have those convenience products to help get dinner on the table for the family. I love how you've added your own flavors to it. Thank you for sharing your meal and the review! I am sure I will be more likely to do more than just "eye" the sauces going forward. It looks fantastic!

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