My Super Power
November 8, 2008
As most young married couples do, Alex and I discuss the future and what each of us sees in it. In the beginning, we saw a different number of little people running around in our future. We have since comprised and resolved this issue, but the possibility of what could have been still haunts me to this day.
You see, Alex comes from an amazing, fun, and outgoing family of 5 children and he wanted to mirror the parent to child ratio in our family. I, on the other hand, come from an amazing, fun, and outgoing family of 2 children and was quite content with our little number. My opposition to the family of 5 was rooted in logic and mostly monetary but honestly, I was and still am scared.
If history repeated itself, I would end up with a large number of boys and in this imaginary family of 5, our children, while loving and kind possessed the not so stellar qualities of their parents. Intelligent, sarcastic, opinionated, stubborn; you name it and these kids had it in spades. And the recurring vision I was having while envisioning this happy future was my husband coming home to find that the children have outwitted me. Tied to a chair, probably some prisoner of their imaginary game, completely helpless in enforcing any type of discipline; destruction and anarchy were running the house and I was forced to watch from the comfort of my dining room chair prison. The thought still sends shudders down my spine.
Do not worry this fate should hopefully not become mine. Alex and I have comprised to a magic number that will hopeful allow me to keep chaos from reigning. But, I also discovered that I have a super power, if my boys are anything like their father I can lull them into a state of calm with my food; just like putty in my hands. I think I will start saving recipes in the For Emergencies Only file and this pasta is definitely going in.
Tonight’s recipe comes from a blog I frequent almost every day: Good Things Catered
Baked Chicken Sausage Pasta with Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce
1 box pasta of choice
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
4 links of chicken sausage with spinach, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds (I use chicken sausage meatballs see below)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, crushed with back of spoon (I add another 15oz can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 tsp salt
splash heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 c. fontina cheese, grated
1/2 c. garlic and her bread crumbs
-In large Dutch oven of lightly salted water, cook pasta according to directions to just al dente (still firm).
-Transfer pasta to large colander and set aside to drain.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In Dutch oven, now empty, add olive oil and bring up to almost smoking.
-Add chicken sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
-Add garlic and crushed pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
-Add diced tomatoes and salt and stir to scrape up all browned bits
-Bring to boil and reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
-Add cream, stir to combine, add pasta and parsley, toss for one minute.
-Sprinkle on cheese and then bread crumbs and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
Tip: Often I do not or cannot find Chicken Sausage. So I make my own
Chicken Sausage Meatballs
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped up into chunks
1 package of frozen spinach defrosted and drained (make sure all the water is out)
½ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
2 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic minced
To taste: Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flake, Basil, and Parsley
Pulse in the food processor until chicken is minced and all is combined. Sometimes I will also add a little half and half if it is not wet enough. Then form into balls (I use a small ice cream scoop) and sauté in a pan with a extra virgin olive oil until brown and cooked through.