Papa Patrick’s Italian Pasta Surprise, AKA “The only thing Pat can make”

13 Feb

A self-proclaimed recipe title by Pat! By the way, it is a requirement to say this recipe title in your head in a thick Italian accent.

I can think of very few things that were worth eating with the word “surprise” in the title. It’s generally not a good sign. However, I can vouch for Pat; that is definitely not the case for this recipe.  There’s no surprise here, he’s just not well versed at naming recipes!

Raise your fin if you think this recipe has a silly name, Bob

I think of the stupid names of stuff they served us for hot lunch in elementary school. Like, Chicken Ring Things. Really, what part of the chicken is the “thing”? And why are they ring shaped? No. I don’t want to know.

Anyway, this is his “go-to” dinner when we can’t think of anything else to have, and he’s in the mood to cook and I’m not.  We usually have all of these ingredients handy at any given time, but it’s not a deal breaker if we don’t have a red pepper or mushrooms. It’s okay, it turns out a little bit different each time because it’s not an exact science.  But that’s why we like it!

(Well, that, and it’s hard to screw up!)

The creator of this non-screw-up-able dish

½ package ground Italian sausage, mild or hot
Olive oil for sautéing
½ red pepper, sliced
½  onion (any kind besides red), diced
One package baby bella or white button mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with juice
Basil, oregano, Italian seasoning
Salt, pepper
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
Pasta – farfalle (bowtie) is our favorite
Parmesan or mozzarella on top

Start by browning the Italian sausage in a skillet. If you don’t have ground Italian sausage, you can also push the sausage out of casings instead, if you have sausage links.

While you’re browning the meat, start another (larger) skillet and sauté the peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic in some olive oil for about 3-5 minutes.

Chef Patrick, hard at work

Add tomatoes with juice in with the veggies. Sometimes here if we have a leftover tomato, we chop it up and add it here.  Drain the meat when it’s all done browning, and throw it in with the veggies. Let it all simmer for a little bit.

Next, add about ¼ cup cream, ½ cup milk. He isn’t sure on the exact amounts to make the sauce. He uses the cream to thicken it up, otherwise it doesn’t thicken enough with just milk. I’ve had it with just milk before and it’s totally fine.

Add basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken.

Serve over any kind of pasta. We like whole grain bowties or rotini, because the sauce sticks nicely on it. Quick and easy!

To save a few calories, you can also use chicken Italian sausage- we’ve become pretty fond of it, actually!

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