A Common Dish

This is a common dish around here — I learned the basics of it right after college, when I was working as a secretary for Fetzer Vineyards; they sent us home with a bottle of wine every Friday, and they had these little recipe cards that went with their wine. I didn’t actually use a Fetzer chardonnay for this — just a random white wine I had around. Still yummy. Good quality Italian sausage takes it up a notch!

This is a great meal for feeding a family of four dinner, and usually makes enough that everyone gets either lunch or dinner the next day too. Reheats well!

Basic process (about 20 minutes):

– cook some pasta (we like spinach rotini to get some extra veggies into the kids), drain, and set aside

– while pasta water is boiling and pasta is cooking (remember to set a timer so pasta doesn’t overcook — rotini takes 7 minutes), work on the next steps

– chop an onion or two and sauté in olive oil

– if you feel like chopping garlic, do that, and add some in; garlic powder also works

– cut up some mild or spicy Italian sausage (take off skin first if it’s already formed into sausages) and add it to the pan, brown for a few minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally

– cut up a couple chicken breasts and add to the pan, brown for a few minutes on medium-high, stirring occasionally

– stir in 1/2 t. salt & 1 c. of white wine; cover and turn down to medium high and simmer 5-10 minutes, so chicken and sausage will cook through

– chop up some bell peppers (ideally a couple different colors), remove lid, and add them in

– add some frozen peas for more veggie goodness

– stir in 1/2 – 1 c. heavy cream, turning down to medium-low, so cream doesn’t curdle

– taste sauce and add more salt if needed, but usually the sausage adds sufficient

– add cooked pasta to pan, stirring to coat with sauce

– if sauce is a little thin, you can simmer it down a bit to thicken

– if you want, grate fresh Parmesan in (don’t use shaker Parmesan, as that has additives to prevent clumping that will also keep it from blending smoothly into the sauce); alternatively, serve with shaker Parmesan, which is frankly what we’re likely to do most of the time, because the kids love it and it’s easier during a busy week

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