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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Asiago Cheese Fusilli with Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausage

Have you ever noticed that a quick run to pick up milk from the grocery store normally costs around $50?  This is a huge problem for me.  I head to the grocery store several times a week to pick up fresh produce and items for a few night's worth of meals.  Naturally, I forget something and I must return.  While there, I spot 15 things that I think I might need, or probably should have, and in the cart they go.  It's always depressing when I go to check-out and I watch the items get rung up.  I always leave with some sick feeling in my stomach and vow to never do it again.  Then I get home and realize I forgot the one thing that I specifically went to the store to buy.

This roasted red pepper sausage from Bilinski's was one of my impulse buys the other day while I was shopping for *insert random product here*.  One of the workers had a bunch out to try so I sampled and I fell in love.  We've had Bilinski's sausage before, but this one was new and was delicious!  The product wasn't even on the website yet (it's still not!), so I searched for a decent recipe to make.  (Note:  Any sun dried tomato chicken sausage or mild sausage would taste wonderful with this pasta recipe.)  I've always had success with quick pasta meals so I found one by Giada and knew I had to make it.  The recipe was incredibly easy and as Giada's recipes always do, turned out delicious.  It made a ton for two people so we shared for leftovers the next day.  I also made up a rosemary and sea salt bread to pair alongside and even though my bread didn't rise properly, it still tasted wonderful.  Bread recipe to follow.
Asiago Cheese Fusilli with Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Sausage
from Giada
Yield:  4-6 servings
  • 12 - 16 ounces chicken sausage (roasted red pepper, sun dried tomato, asiago cheese, or any mild flavored chicken sausage), sliced and warmed through per package instructions
  • 1 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup (about 3.5 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.  Cook fusilli pasta according to package instructions until tender but still firm to the bite.  Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes.  Add the cooked pasta and toss.  Add the warmed chicken sausage, cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer to serving plates and enjoy!

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