I made this pasta for dinner for the first time the day before Halloween. It was one of those nights…I had twelve excuses on the tip of my tongue to justify not making dinner. I was feeling adverse to my kitchen and ready to get take-out without remorse. The whole ride home from work I contemplated how I was going to present my plan to my husband; which take-out place can I suggest to sway him? He’s so flexible it probably wouldn’t have mattered, to be honest. Regardless, it gave my mind something to contemplate.
Then, out of nowhere, my thoughts drifted from my kitchen dread to the few ingredients still left from our weekly shopping trip. And, just like that, a wonderfully delicious idea was born. I had a bag of pasta that I grabbed…just in case. There was a package of spicy chicken sausages waiting for the grill. Of course there were onions from the farmers market…and in the way, way back of the fridge I remembered half an abandoned container of crumbled goat cheese. By the time I got home I figured out how I wanted to make our meal; it was invigorating to cook again!
I was so incredibly happy with the results I made it again this week…but with much more intention. I love many things about this pasta. Its bright and colorful from the sun-dried tomatoes and peas. The chicken sausage is spicy which balances the wonderfully creamy goat cheese. Mmmm. We both know the most important thing is that its just downright yummy!
- 1 lb. short cut pasta (penne, fusilli, bowtie, etc.)
- 1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 lb. spicy chicken sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 c. sliced sun-dried tomatoes (I shy away from ones packed in oil)
- 1 1/2 c. frozen peas
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions while other ingredients are cooking.
I used fusilli noodles this time around, but in the original recipe I used bowtie; both were spectacular.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casing from sausages by cutting down the middle with a sharp knife. Use your fingers to remove the casings and discard.
Add diced onion and sausage to the skillet; begin breaking up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon.
Cook until sausage is cooked through (it is chicken, of course) and the onion is translucent; approximately 8-10 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes to sausage mixture and cook 2 minutes to warm through.
Add frozen peas and stir to combine. Frozen peas take just moments to thaw in a warm pan.
Drain pasta once it is al dente and return to the pot.
Top with sausage and vegetable mixture. Stir in goat cheese and a couple additional tablespoons of olive oil; this will prevent the noodles from sticking together. The goat cheese will begin to melt as it is stirred into the noodles. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, spoon into a bowl and top with Parmesan cheese and additional black pepper. Enjoy!