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.


wifeplzak said...

great pic!

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing and your picture is great.

Joelen said...

This looks wonderful! Amazing pic!

Erin said...

Yum! This looks great!