Thursday, August 29, 2013

My version of Carino's Spicy Sausage Skilletini

One of our favorite places to eat out is Carino's Italian restaurant, when we eat out that is .... I usually don't unless we're out of town since I always think of the groceries we could have bought for the price of the one meal. But anyone, one of the things I like to do is see if I can come up with recipes that taste similar to what we like to get when we do eat out. So here is my version of Carino's Spicy Sausage Skilletini. I know...they don't put zucchini in least that I can remember, but I have a bunch in my garden so I had to use it up. I have made this recipe twice already, sorry, time goes really fast (except when I am at work) so it's hard to get everything done that I want to in the evenings, but we loved this recipe. Feel free to put what veggies you have on hand in it, and add more or less crushed red pepper depending on how spicy you want your skilletini to be. Serve with crusty french bread and salad, or steamed green beans like I did. Enjoy!

My version of Carino's Spicy Sausage Skillitini
1 package Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil (optional, I love them so I use them a lot)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (3 or 4 cloves)
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1-4oz. can sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup Marinara sauce
1/2  (14.5 oz) package Spaghetti noodles 
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente pasta. (Cook more or less spaghetti, depending on how many people you are serving, I used half a 14.5 package and had enough for my family of 4 with leftovers). Drain your pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water just in case you need it later to add to the sauce.
Slice sausage links into bite size pieces, heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until sausage is cooked through. 
Remove sausage from skillet into a bowl or plate and set aside. 
Drain most of the grease from the skillet leaving a tablespoon or two to cook your veggies (this is part of what gives it that skilletini flavor I think) Add the onion and peppers to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 or 4 minutes. Then add your sun dried tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, mushrooms, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning; continue to cook over a medium heat for 3 or 4 more minutes or until your vegetables are a crunchy tender.
Next, add the sausage back to the pan along with the cup of marinara sauce, let this simmer over medium/low heat for about 5 minutes so the flavors can blend.
Now toss in your spaghetti noodles and stir/ toss to heat through and coat with your sauce. Skilletini is a drier pasta dish, not so saucy but if you find yours is a little too dry, add a bit of the reserved pasta water, I added maybe about 1/4 cup or so. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve. Have Parmesan cheese at the table so your guests can add more if desired. ENJOY!

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