Have you seen all these one-pot pasta dishes floating around the internet? Don’t you just love the idea of everything cooking up in one pot? The particular recipe I chose to inspire me came from The Slow Roasted Italian. It was simply too pretty to pass up. And I was a bit curious, too. Uncooked pasta in the same pot as all the other ingredients, to be cooked together – how does that work?
When trying a new recipe for the very first time, I tend to stay close to the original and not stray too far off course. It’s one thing to change or eliminate ingredients that don’t mesh with your personal tastes. It’s another to completely go off the reservation. Like a dutiful cook, I read the recipe through – several times. And true to myself, I made a few minor changed. The original recipe called for 4 1/2 cups of water. I decided to add wine to the mix and reduce the water accordingly, keeping the amount of liquid the same. And while the photo of everything in one pot looked very pretty, it didn’t make sense to cook it that way. I broke the Linguine in half so it would all sit flat in the liquid, and layered all the other ingredients.
Finally, I guess I really should have called this One-Pot Cheesy Pasta with Mystery Sausage. When checking the freezer for sausage links, there was one package left from an earlier purchase at Costco. It was part of a three-pack package. We had bought several different types of three-pack sausages. Each package was broken up and stored in freezer bags. Typically, we label our bags with content and date information. I’m not sure why this one wasn’t labeled. I knew it was a chicken sausage. The question was is it spicy or Italian Chicken? If that wasn’t enough of a mystery, I wasn’t 100% sure it was “precooked”. Not to take any chances, I fried up the coin cut sausage in a little Basil-Olive Oil before moving forward. I like the flavor and texture a quick fry gave the sausage (which turned out to be spicy Chicken, and it was delicious!).
One-Pot Cheesy Pasta with Sausage
3 cups halved grape tomatoes, divided
1 large onion, sliced into slivers
1 lb Spicy Chicken Sausage links, precooked (sliced into coins)
20-30 basil leaves, divided
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lb dry linguine
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cups water
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cut grape tomatoes in half. Reserve (set aside) 1 cup halved tomatoes along with 10 basil leaves and all the cheese. Peel and slice onion into slivers. Set aside until ready to add.
Coin cut the sausage links. Fry sausage quickly in a skillet with a little olive oil if you want the sausage to have a little extra texture and flavor. If not, simply coin cut and set aside.
In a large dutch oven, pour water and wine. Break pasta in half, place into the water mixture.
Place coin-cut sausage over pasta. Note, if you fried the sausage before hand, make sure to drain any grease that has gathered in the skillet before adding the sausage to the pot.
Add 2 cups of grape tomato halves, about 15-20 basil leaves roughly torn, and onion slivers. Scatter sliced garlic around the pot, then season.
Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once liquid is boiling, remove cover and cook 7-9 minutes until pasta is al dente (with a bite to it). Toss pasta with tongs occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking and to combine all the ingredients as the pasta cooks. Liquid will be mostly absorbed when pasta is cooked.
Remove from heat, add cheese and toss to combine. Pull pasta through the mixture, coating with cheese until the cheese melts into the sauce. Toss in remaining tomatoes and basil before serving.
Serve with a crisp salad and a nice bottle of wine for a relaxing evening.