It was a productive weekend ’round these parts!
True to our word, Ben and I got up early on Saturday morning then got to cleanin’! While he tackled the basement, I emptied the closets in both my office and our guest bedroom, then attacked the hall closet. I will admit to opening it every single time I passed by to admire my handiwork. Gosh, de-cluttering is just good for the soul!
By the way, I must share this genius little tip I saw on Pinterest awhile ago – place all the pieces in a sheet set inside one of the pillowcases to keep them all together. So clever! Place a dryer sheet inside to keep them smelling fresh (that’s my addition.)
We worked from 8am until nearly 3pm then decided to reward our hard work with dinner out at our favorite Mexican restaurant – say it with me, Monterrey! - later that night with a couple of our besties. After waiting for them at the table for 15 minutes I texted to see what was up, and tragically learned they had gone to the restaurant’s other location. Damn, I thought that only happened in the movies! They had to go pick up their kids from their parents house, so we called it a night and decided to try again next weekend!
With sore and tired muscles from cleaning and de-cluttering on Saturday, Ben and I slept in this morning, then hightailed it over to to Hy-Vee for Sunday brunch. (Yes, I wear this fleece literally every. single. day. Send help. Nay, new clothes.)
I chose the standard scrambled egg plate with hash browns and bacon,
while my bearded companion enjoyed a ham & cheese omelet.
With EXTRA crispy hash browns. Lucky duck.
One of my girlfriend’s was in from out of town so I visited with her and another friend for a bit this afternoon (LOVE me some girl time) then made an early dinner of Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet!
This is a stand-over-the-stove-shoveling-scorching-hot-food-into-your-mouth kind of meal. That is to say, it’s good. REAL good.
Smoked turkey sausage, shallots and garlic are sauteed then simmered with rotel, half & half, chicken broth and pasta until al dente. A sprinkling of salty parmesan cheese finishes off this easy, 1-skillet supper. (PS do you say supper or dinner? I say both, though I think supper is a mostly Midwest thing…)
Anywho! Start with 12oz smoked turkey sausage. This stuff is pre-cooked and ready to go. SUPER yummy too!
Slice the sausage into rings then add it to the biggest skillet you own (I used a 12″ skillet) with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, and 2 chopped shallots, or 1 chopped small onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the sausage barely starts to curl. If you saute it too long, it’ll get rubbery. Next add 2 minced garlic cloves then saute for 30 more seconds.
Next add in 2 cups chicken broth, 10oz Rotel (name brand for diced tomatoes with green chili) and 1/2 cup half & half. The mild Rotel had the perfect amount of spice for me, but Ben added a few red chili pepper flakes to his bowl for an extra kick.
Bring the mixture to a boil then stir in 8oz cut pasta. I used rotini, but you could use shells, penne, rigatoni – just use whatever you’ve got.
Place a lid on top then simmer until the pasta is barely al dente, about 10 minutes. I gave mine a stir once or twice too.
Finally, add 4 cups baby spinach then use a pair of tongs to fold in and cook for 1 more minute – just enough time for the spinach to wilt.
Scoop the pasta into bowls then top with a hearty sprinkling of parmesan cheese!
Spicy Sausage Pasta Skillet
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, via Kevin & Amanda
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
12oz smoked turkey sausage, sliced
2 large shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup half & half
8oz cut pasta (I used rotini)
4 cups baby spinach
Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Heat oil in a large skillet (I used a 12″ skillet) over medium-high heat. Add sausage and shallots then saute until sausage is slightly curled, about 5 minutes (do not over cook or sausage will become rubbery.) Add garlic then cook for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
- Turn heat up to high then add chicken broth, tomatoes, half & half, and pepper. Mixure may look curdled, but it’s fine. Bring to a boil then add pasta and stir to combine. Place a lid on top then simmer for 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente, stirring once or twice. Add spinach then stir to combine and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
This pasta was absolutely mouthwatering! Creamy, salty, spicy, satisfying, mm-mm good. There. I said it.
Plus, hello, bonus points for only needing 1 skillet – whee!
Hope you had a fantastic weekend, friends! Have a great week, too!