When you were a kid, did you ever eat cut up hot dogs mixed with a box of Kraft mac & cheese?
Me too. Actually, I may have actually eaten that concoction as recently as a few months ago, so I don't know who I'm trying to fool with the whole "when you were a kid" qualifier.
This reminds me of a grownup version of that! However, instead of hot dogs you have delicious smoked turkey sausage, and instead of Kraft you have penne with Monterey Jack cheese and Ro-Tel. The best part? You only need one pan, and 25 minutes to make this dinner. You don't even cook the pasta in a separate pan!
On a spiciness scale of 1-10, with 1 being mild salsa, and 10 being a ghost pepper dipped in sriracha sauce, this pasta is about a 3. If you want it spicier, use the hot version of Ro-Tel, and maybe Pepper-Jack cheese instead of Monterey-Jack. Some crushed red pepper flakes would be delicious too. This is a very forgiving recipe - you really can't mess up cheesy pasta!
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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds (I used Butterball brand)
1 1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles, Original Style
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Thinly sliced scallions
Salt, to taste
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet(or other oven-safe skillet) until smoking.
Add the sausage and onion, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the broth, Ro-Tel, heavy cream, uncooked pasta, and pepper, and give the mixture a good stir. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. Preheat the broiler while the pasta is cooking.
Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Taste, and add salt as needed. Top with the scallions and remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned - about 3 minutes.
Adapted from The Best Simple Recipesvia Kevin & Amanda
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