One thing I like to do is come up with something relatively simple yet delicious for people of any skill level to be able to put together for themselves or their family. While I do love to come up with new recipes from scratch, not every meal has to be elaborate and time-consuming to be good. There are lots of things you can do to make a great meal just by picking up canned or jarred ingredients and then adding a little something extra to them to “spice it up”.
Cooking a great meal isn’t always about coming up with something completely new and I know not everyone has the time to come up with new ideas with today’s on the go, hectic lifestyle. Sometimes you just want to do a google search for easy meal and have it brought right up so that you can grab the ingredients on the way home from work.
Today I am going to show you how to make a great pasta dish with Italian sausage and caramelized onions using a few things I picked up at the grocery store and modified a bit once I got home.
Here are a few things you should have on hand before getting started: sharp knife and cutting board, medium-sized pot, cast iron skillet or non stick skillet, long-handled spoon, colander, bbq or pastry brush.
1 1/2 cups of Pasta (something like a penne, rigatoni, or fusilli. Stay away from typical spaghetti noodles)
Italian Sausage (one pack mild or hot)
Grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano Pecorino like I use)
One yellow onion sliced
Bread from the bakery (I used a loaf of rosemary bread)
One jar of Rao’s Arabiata Sauce (or your preferred tomato pasta sauce but Rao’s is great).
Prep and Cooking (total time is around 20 minutes)
Like most recipes there are a few steps involved but most of them can be done while one of the others is cooking. This saves a lot of time.
First you want to cook your Italian sausage. If all you could find is links which is what happened to me while I was shopping, then you will want to just slice each link down the middle and remove the casing. Now place the sausage in your pan and cook over medium high heat. Make sure you break it up into small pieces as it cooks.
While the sausage is cooking, get your pasta started boiling according to the directions on the package. (I like to add a tablespoon of olive oil to my water).
Now you can go ahead and slice up the onion and set to the side.
By this time the sausage should be done cooking. Remove it from the pan and set aside. In the same pan (make sure to leave all the yummy little leftover bits and oils from the sausage in the pan) add a tablespoon of olive oil and the onions and reduce the heat to medium. Stir the onions around and cook until the become very soft and start to brown up a bit.
Reduce heat to the lowest setting and move the onions to one side of the pan. Now put the sausage back in the empty side of the pan to keep it all warm.
Now your pasta should be ready. Go ahead and drain it (do not rinse) and put it back in the pot and add the whole jar of sauce. Stir this around on medium heat for a few minutes to get everything warmed up.
While that is warming up slice a few pieces of bread. Put two tablespoons of butter and two teaspoons of garlic powder in a small bowl and melt for about 20 seconds in the microwave. Stir it together and then brush it on the bread. Stick this in a toaster oven (toast setting) or regular oven (450) to get nice and crisp and brown around the edges. Now you have a nice homemade garlic bread to go with your pasta.
Now to plate it all.
It’s all about layering now. Scoop out a good serving of the pasta and sauce into the bowl. Now place however much sausage you would like on top of that and then add some of the onions to the top of that. Now sprinkle the grated cheese to finish it off. You want enough cheese on top to look like a snow-capped mountain but still want to see the sauce around the edges.
There you have it. You just made a nice home cooked meal using a few premade ingredients but “spiced it up” with your own little flair.
I hope that this is something that you enjoy and can add to your go to list for quick meals. Check back often for more meal ideas.
Thanks for reading,