Recently I came across my friend Barbara's recipe for Stove-Top Broccoli and Sausage Pasta. It looked and sounded so good, I knew I'd have to try it. Try it I did, though with a few small changes, and we love it.
If you love skillet meals that go together easily, cook up quickly, and satisfy a hungry family, then I urge you to give this recipe a try. I think you'll find that both Barbara's version and my own are "keepers." Whichever one you choose to keep probably depends on whether you have broccoli or bell pepper on hand. Like both? That's smart! Prefer yet another vegetable? Substitute as you please! That's the beauty of skillet dinners; the variations are limited only by your family's taste buds and the contents of your refrigerator.
I call my version Skillet Smoked Sausage Pasta Dinner. Here's the recipe:
Skillet Smoked Sausage Pasta Dinner
8 ounces rotini pasta
1 12 to 16 ounce package smoked Polish or similar sausage
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
OR used unseasoned tomatoes and add
1 T minced fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil and
1 T minced fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley flakes
1 can corn, drained or about 1 cup frozen cut corn
1 bell pepper, green or whatever color you prefer, cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks
Crumbled Feta or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Slice the sausage into quarter-inch rounds then place in a large, cold skillet. Over medium heat, cook and stir long enough to brown the sausage and let the juices flow, scraping the bottom of the skillet as the sausage cooks.
As the sausage is browning, cook the pasta to al dente as directed on the package (about 7 minutes). Drain and set aside. (Or cook and drain pasta ahead of time.)
Add tomatoes, seasonings (if using), corn, and the bell pepper to the sausage mixture. Stir together well. Cover, reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 to 8 minutes until pepper is almost as done as you like it (we like it still a little crispy).
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir together well. Cook and stir just until everything is heated through.
Serve topped with a bit of the feta or Parmesan cheese, if using.
Serve with salad or homemade applesauce on the side.
Do you like skillet meals? What changes would you make to the recipe to suit your family? I'd love to read your comments and suggestions.