Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cream Sauce - Minus The Guilt

I love Trader Joe's - I used to live right by one in Michigan, and went there pretty often. One did open in Nashville a few months ago, which I finally made it to...although due to some silly laws in the state...they don't sell my wine tower staple Two-Buck Chuck :( For those of you who don't know, it's actually a pretty decent wine that you can buy by the case.

But there other great things that I like at TJ's - one of them being the chicken sausages. So I picked up some Sundried Tomato & Basil sausages for the first time - we loved them - they are full of flavor and grill up quickly since they are fully cooked. They tasted great in the pasta, and I also used them in calzones (which will be blogged soon!) I love cream sauces, but don't make it often...but this one isn't too heavy since it uses half and half cream, and blending the tomato mixture creates a thicker consistency.


Sun Dried Tomato Cream Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp EVOO
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
2 (or more) grilled sausages, sliced I used Trader Joe's Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausages
28 oz can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped with juice
3 tbsp softened sun dried tomatoes, julienned
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp of half and half cream
2.5 cups baby spinach
1/2 box pasta (I used penne rigate)
handful of freshly chopped parsley and basil

Heat EVOO is a pot over medium heat. Add onions, saute for a couple of minutes, add garlic, and saute for another 3 minutes or so till softened. Add tomatoes, kosher salt and pepper, sun dried tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill or pan fry sausages till done. Slice and set aside.

Prepare pasta according, removing from heat a couple of minutes before being done, it will finish cooking in the sauce. Drain, reserve some cooking liquid and set aside.

Remove sauce from heat and puree in a food processor or blender till desired. Return sauce to pot, add sausages and spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add in cream and stir till blended and thickened. Add in pasta, parsley, basil and a little of the pasta cooking water, simmer on low for a couple of minutes. Serve with parmesean cheese and additional fresh herbs.

4 comments:

wifeplzak said...

great pic!

bakinandeggs said...

This looks amazing and your picture is great.

Joelen said...

This looks wonderful! Amazing pic!

Erin said...

Yum! This looks great!