I'm all for quick and easy recipes…..the kind of recipes that get you in and out of the kitchen fast. I also love simple-to-make dishes that take very few ingredients. But I have just one rule: Whatever quick and simple recipe I’m making has to taste homemade. So, how do you get that homemade dish worthy of being called restaurant quality? You make your own sauce! Never buy Alfredo sauce in a jar when it takes less time to make it than to open it! Here’s just an example of the perfect fast and simple recipe that you can make in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. Serve it with a side salad and some hot crusty bread and you’ll think you’re eating carryout from a high end Italian restaurant!
Sausage Alfredo Bake
1.5 lbs Italian Sausage (sweet or hot)1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box Penne or Penne Rigata Pasta (one has ridges one doesn't)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper
salt & pepper
homemade Alfredo Sauce (see below)
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Cut sausage into bite sized pieces. In a large skillet over a medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the sausage pieces and brown until done. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add sliced mushrooms to the same skillet and saute until tender. Season the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper. Return sausage to skillet and mix them with the sausage and set aside.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt to a large pot of boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain very well and return pasta to warm pot off the heat. While pasta cooks, make your sauce.
Homemade Alfredo Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream (must be heavy cream or whipping cream)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chopped garlic and saute until golden (about a minute or two). Add 2 cups of heavy cream and allow to simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and whisk continuously until the cheese in completely melted. Salt and pepper to taste. That's how simple it is to make your own sauce!
Add the sausage and mushrooms to your pot of cooked pasta and toss. Next, add the half cup of mozzarella cheese to your Alfredo sauce and stir until cheese has melted. Then pour your sauce into the pot of pasta and stir to coat everything well.
Pour the pasta into a oven proof dish. Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly and the cheese has melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread and a salad. YUM!
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