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Italian Sausage Pasta

Embark on a Flavorful Journey with Italian Sausage Pasta

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Are you ready to tantalize your taste buds with a dish bursting with Italian flavors? Look no further than Italian Sausage Pasta! This delectable recipe combines savory Italian sausage, aromatic herbs, creamy sauce, and tender pasta to create a mouthwatering meal that will transport you straight to the streets of Italy. With each forkful, you’ll experience a symphony of flavors that is sure to delight your senses and leave you craving more. Let’s dive into the details of this irresistible recipe and learn how to make it at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces uncooked rigatoni
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut, packed in oil, drained
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook the Italian Sausage: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the Italian sausage until browned and cooked through, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks. Once cooked, remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Sauté Onion and Garlic: In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add Herbs and Spices: Stir in the dried marjoram, black pepper, crushed rosemary, dried thyme leaves, and red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional minute to allow the flavors to meld together.
  4. Cook the Pasta: Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  5. Prepare the Sauce: Return the cooked Italian sausage to the skillet with the onion and garlic mixture. Pour in the chicken broth and heavy whipping cream, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly.
  6. Add Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and drained sun-dried tomatoes, allowing the cheese to melt into the sauce and the tomatoes to warm through.
  7. Add Spinach and Pasta: Add the baby spinach to the skillet, stirring until wilted. Then, add the cooked rigatoni to the skillet, tossing until the pasta is evenly coated with the sauce.
  8. Season and Serve: Taste the Italian Sausage Pasta and season with salt, if needed, to taste. Serve hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Customize the Heat: Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to control the level of spiciness in the dish. For a milder flavor, reduce the amount, or omit them altogether.
  • Substitute Pasta: Feel free to swap out the rigatoni for your favorite pasta shape, such as penne, fusilli, or spaghetti.
  • Add Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional content of the dish by adding other vegetables such as sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: Can I use sweet Italian sausage instead of spicy? A: Yes, you can substitute sweet Italian sausage for spicy Italian sausage if you prefer a milder flavor.

Q: Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes? A: While sun-dried tomatoes contribute a unique flavor and texture to the dish, you can certainly use fresh tomatoes as a substitute. Just be aware that the flavor profile will be different.

Q: Is it necessary to use heavy whipping cream, or can I use a lighter alternative? A: Heavy whipping cream adds richness and creaminess to the sauce, but if you prefer a lighter option, you can use half-and-half or milk. Keep in mind that the sauce may not be as thick or luxurious.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the Italian Sausage Pasta ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how you can modify the recipe:

  • Use Cauliflower or Zucchini Noodles: Replace the rigatoni with cauliflower rice or spiralized zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative.
  • Substitute Cream Cheese: Instead of heavy whipping cream, use cream cheese blended with chicken broth to create a creamy sauce with fewer carbs.
  • Omit Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes contain natural sugars, so you can omit them or use them sparingly to reduce the carb content of the dish.

Italian Sausage Pasta is a delightful fusion of bold flavors and comforting textures that is sure to satisfy your cravings and impress your family and friends. With its hearty Italian sausage, creamy sauce, and aromatic herbs, this dish is a celebration of the vibrant culinary traditions of Italy. Whether enjoyed as a cozy weeknight dinner or served as the centerpiece of a festive gathering, Italian Sausage Pasta is guaranteed to bring joy to your table and leave you dreaming of seconds. So gather your ingredients and prepare to embark on a flavorful journey with this irresistible recipe tonight!

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this recipe? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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