Peasant Pasta – Crazy Cooking Challenge #7

Now that I’m back to blogging more regularly, I wanted to find some kind of cooking challenge to join up with again, but one that didn’t require a huge time committment and allowed me some flexibility on recipe selection since I live with some picky eaters.  I was very excited to find the Crazy Cooking Challenge over on Mom’s Crazy Cooking!  Each month, she chooses a theme, and everyone in the group cooks/bakes a recipe that fits in that theme, and that recipe must come from another food blog.  Considering I follow at least 80 food blogs in my Google Reader, I knew this would be a challenge that I would really enjoy!

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This month’s theme was Spaghetti with Red Sauce.  We are a big pasta loving household, so I was very excited with this month’s theme!  My search for the perfect recipe took me to the blog Good Eats n’ Sweet Treats and this fantastic Peasant Pasta.  Pasta + sausage + red sauce = the happiest boys in the world in this house.  Both the husband and toddler man LOVE sausage and pasta, so I knew I had to make this.  We were not disappointed!  Even I, the one who really rather dislikes sausage, loved it!  The leftovers are just as good the next day.  This is orginally a Rachael Ray recipe from her show 30-Minute Meals.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried any of her recipes, but they very rarely only take me 30 minutes.  Usually by the time it’s said and done, I’ve spent AT LEAST 45 minutes dealing with it.  This was an hoenst-to-God under 30 minute meal, and I will be making this again very, very soon!  Make sure you check out Jaime’s blog…there are a ton of fabulous recipes over there!

Peasant Pasta

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 2 links, casings removed
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 4 links, casings removed
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked to al dente
Grated Italian cheese, for passing

Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan.

Add sausage meat. Crumble sausage meat as it browns. Add chopped garlic to the pan. When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, deglaze the pan drippings using chicken or vegetable broth.

Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir cream into your sauce, this will blush the color and cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper. Stir basil into your sauce to combine. Toss hot drained spaghetti in pan with the sauce, then transfer pasta to serving bowl.

Source:  Slightly adapted from Good Eats n’ Sweet Treats, originally from Rachael Ray

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