Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

It's no be surprise that if you have seen my blog before, that you know I'm a fan of Brussels Sprouts.  Finding something new to do with them is always a treat for me.  This recipe came together by the desire to try something new with a fresh flavor for summer that the pesto brings. 
The combination of the freshness of the pesto, the comfort of the pasta, the earthiness of the Brussels Sprouts and the texture and slight spice of the chicken sausage came together for a wonderful weeknight dinner.  

Warning, this is not a one pan dish, but it is easy to throw together, substitute different items for differing flavors and a family crowd pleaser.  The first time that we made the dish, we used a spinach chicken sausage, but switched it up to a roasted red pepper chicken sausage the second time.  I prefer the spinach for this dish, but both were good.  You could always substitute asparagus or another hardy vegetable for roasting with this dish - although, I will always reach for the brussels sprouts. 
When working thru this dish, I made my kitchen work to the fullest potential, using two of the four burners, chopping vigorously and setting the oven to roast the veggies and then to finish the dish.  It works well to start boiling the pasta water and chopping everything. Then while the pasta is cooking, saute the chicken sausage and roast the veggies in the oven.  Right now, we have a little one who just LOVES salted butter noodles, so when pulling the pasta out, I reserved a fourth to a third of the pasta for her.  Tip - also reserve some of the pasta water to include with the finished dish before baking.  The starchiness of the water will help bind the pesto sauce with pasta, veggies and sausage. 

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage 
& Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Ingredients:


  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut off the end and half them
  • 3 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb shell pasta
  • 5 Chicken sausage links, sliced into 1/4" chunks
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 1/3 cup pesto, homemade or store bought
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preparation:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together Brussels sprouts, 2 Tbls olive oil, salt and pepper.  Stir until combined.
  • Place tin foil on a large rimmed baking sheet, put Brussels sprouts on there and disperse evenly on baking sheet.  Place in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring two or three times. 
  • While Brussels sprouts are cooking, start boiling the water for pasta and cook pasta per package instructions. 
  • Slice chicken sausage and garlic and over medium heat, put chicken in to start cooking.  When you have cooked the sausage for 10-15 minutes, getting a nice char on them, add the garlic until flavor is incorporated into the chicken. 
  • Pull the Brussels sprouts out and reduce the heat on the oven to 250 degrees. 
  • When pasta is done, start pulling it from the water and strain into a bowl.  Add chicken, Brussels sprouts and pesto sauce.  Stir them together and place in baking dish.  Top with Parmesan and put in the oven until serving time. 
  • Top with more Parmesan if desired and serve.  Enjoy!

Happy Roasting!!!

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