Monday, January 31, 2011

Sausage and Roasted Garlic Pasta

My husband and I fell in love with a recipe similar to this at our favorite Italian restaurant. But, with 12 inch snow falls predicted for the next couple of days, I decided we should stay in and I'd try to recreate our favorite meal at home. I think it turned out pretty close to the real thing. My local grocery store didn't have any broccoli rabe, so I substituted mushrooms for it in the recipe. My husband likes mushrooms better anyway. I hope you try out the recipe and tweak it to your liking. Let me know what works well for you!

Happy cooking!

*recipe updated 4/29/12*

Sausage and Roasted Garlic Pasta

1 large head garlic
4 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons flour
1 can chicken broth
3 cups cream or half and half
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Italian (or other seasoned) sausage, cut into slices
½ cup diced onions
2 cups sliced mushrooms or 2 cups broccoli rabe
12 ounces cooked medium-sized shell pasta

1)        Separate garlic cloves, peel and roast in oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. 
2)        Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan.
3)        Meanwhile, mush garlic cloves into a paste. Once butter has melted, add garlic to the saucepan and   whisk together for 30 seconds.
4)    Add flour and stir for 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated with the butter and garlic.
5)        Add chicken broth and cream to the butter, garlic and flour mixture. Add brandy. Cook on medium-high heat until reduced and thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6)        Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
7)        Once butter has melted, add onions and sausage. Sautee until onions are translucent.
8)        Add mushrooms and/or broccoli rabe to the sausage and onion mixture. Cook on medium-high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned and tender (about 1 to 2 minutes) or until broccoli rabe resembles cooked spinach.
9)        Add pasta shells to sausage mixture.
10)    Once sauce has thickened to your liking, pour over pasta mixture. Let settle 1-2 minutes. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.
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