Monday, October 4, 2010

White Cheese and Chicken Sausage Pasta - Dinner #9 (3 stars)

I got this recipe from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2003, which I borrowed from the library. I liked the cooking book. It wasn't GREAT, but it was good and I saw quite a few recipes I would definitely try sometime. I liked how it was set up by month so that I could look at good recipes to cook in October, based on the weather and food that is in season this time of year.

The meal came out pretty well. The only thing I didn't like about it (and this wasn't the recipe's fault at all) was that the meat I got wasn't that great. The recipe originally asked for sweet Italian turkey sausage, but I decided to do chicken sausage instead because I really liked the chicken sausage I used for my gumbo recipe last week. I got the chicken sausage I used at Shaws (where I never usually go), so when I was shopping at PriceRite and Stop&Shop for my groceries this afternoon, I couldn't find the same one I used for the gumbo. I ended up taking the only chicken sausage Stop&Shop even had which kinda sucked. It was alright, but nothing like the one I got from Shaws which I loved.

Another thing that I didn't like about it was that it had me mix flour and milk in a frying pan... which I thought was strange, and it didn't really work. I ended up with clumps of flour that I had to strain out so that my recipe wouldn't end up with disgusting clumps of milky flour in it after it cooked in the oven. Maybe I was just doing it wrong, but I feel like there's probably an easier way to do what the recipe wanted me to do without having to do it in a frying pan like that. Also, my ziti stuck together really bad and that made it difficult to eat and cook with.

Altogether the recipe tasted pretty good, though... I just wish I had been able to use a different meat than I had.

White Cheese and Chicken Sausage Pasta

Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2003 pg. 30
  • 1/2 lb. chicken sausage
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 6 cups hot cooked ziti (about 4 cups uncooked short tube-shaped pasta)
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat oven to 400˚
  • Remove sausage from casings. Place a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat; cook sausage until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well; set aside. Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel.
  • Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add flour; stir with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cook until think (about 8 minutes); remove from heat. Combine milk mixture, sausage, pasta, Parmesan, and salt in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size about 1 1/2 cups)

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