An Easy Pasta Sausage Dish | featuring Venison

Howdy folks!


Sorry for the spotty posts, but I apparently spend way more time conceiving and photographing content (and let's face it, also wasting my time on trivial pursuits) than I do actually posting all of that great content.

This is probably A#1 on my 2017 Resolutions List this year: Post Regularly. Maybe if I say it repeatedly like a mantra it will work... although that never worked with things like dieting, exercising, or doing literally any other thing that I didn't want to do.


Following up on my Texas Big Game post I thought I would detail a favorite recipe I keep on REPEAT in this family, adapted to star the venison sausage I made in Texas. It's modified from a recipe in the America's Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. It's healthy (we're talking only 200 calories for a 2-cup serving!), satisfying, and good for the whole family - even picky eaters. And it's fast and easy to make. Let's go!

You will need:


One Tablespoon olive oil
One pound Venison sausage (sub turkey sausage or Italian chicken sausage - if you are in SoCal, Sprouts has a crazy good Italian chicken sausage that has been the single reason I don't just make all my own sausage. It is that good)
One onion, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup cherry tomatoes
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 Cups chicken broth
1 Cup dry white wine (decent enough to drink)
1/2 Cup Asiago cheese (apx 1 oz)
salt + pepper
1 pound broccoli or broccolini cut into small florets + stems sliced on the bias in 1-inch pieces or so
12 oz penne pasta (whole wheat for healthiest, but you can sub white or better yet, make your own)
1/4 Cup shredded fresh basil... a few dashes of dried if that's all you have

Method:

Heat 1.5 tsp of the oil in a 12-inch, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Remove sausages from their casings and cut into 1-inch-sized pieces.


Add the sausage to the hot pan and cook until pink all over from cooking, about 3 minutes.


So: chicken sausage goes from pink to white when you cook it, but did you know that venison sausage does the reverse and goes from brown to PINK? Beef loses its pinkness too like chicken does, although a lot of beef is simply dyed pink because that's how people think uncooked meat should look.

MEANWHILE, while you're cooking the sausage, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a medium-large pot. When it reaches boiling, add the broccoli and add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook - stirring often - until the broccoli is tender-crisp, about 2-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Return the water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.


When the sausage is done "pinking" (instead of "browning" - and I want copyrights on the term "pinking"), transfer the meat to another bowl and return the pan to the heat.

Next up in the skillet, you're going to add the remaining oil to the pan, and when it heats up again over medium, add the onion and cook until softened - about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Then stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Then slowly whisk in the broth and wine, bringing to a simmer, scraping up the fond from the sausage as you go. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.


Return the sausage along with any accumulated juices back to the skillet. Simmer until the sausage is fully cooked through, about 1-3 minutes depending on the size of your sausage sections.


Off the heat, stir in the Asiago and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Add the sausage-broth mixture, broccolini, and basil to the pasta and toss to combine. Before serving, add the reserved cooking water from the broccolini/pasta back in if needed to loosen up the sauce.


And voila! If you're watching your diet, you'll be happy to know that 2 cups of this is a pretty decent amount. And a really hungry man will probably double that portion, at least. Bon appetit!


Happy cooking and thanks for looking. xoxo :)


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