The following delicious concoction comes straight from hospital food. Yup, that’s right. My dad, the One-Legged Wonder, spent so much time at the hospital in Indianapolis that I became quite familiar with a lot of the staff, especially the cafeteria folks. The cafeteria was my hiding place, refuge from my crazy mother and the perfect place to indulge stress-induced eating.
The hospital cafeteria there has a ton of options. You pick and choose from their “regular line” that has burgers, fries, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs and what not or you can go with their “heart healthy line” that I never ate in. I’m just not a big fan of fish and rice and steamed veggies. By God, when I’m going to eat, I want something good! Hell, I’m at the hospital, I’m stressed and I need food… REAL FOOD.
Every Tuesday and Thursday (yes, I even know the food schedule) one of the special lines was” pasta a-la-carte”. It was a cool concept; you choose wheat or regular pasta, alfredo or tomato sauce and then whatever mix-ins you’d like. My ole faithful choice was regular pasta, garlic, tomatoes and sausage. YUM! The servings was massive, taking up the entire to-go tray and was plenty for two meals. Needless to say, Tuesdays and Thursdays were my favorite day for cafeteria food. It’s not all bad, ya know!
Sunday night, while making my BBQ ribs I remembered those meals, thanked God the One-Legged Wonder is doing so much better and decided to make my own Italian Sausage Alfredo. Here’s the recipe I devised:
Italian Sausage Alfredo
1 pkg. of Italian Sausage (5 bratwurst-lookin’ links)
2 jars of Alfredo Sauce
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 T. minced garlic (less if you’re not a garlic-aholic like us!)
2 T. Olive Oil
1 pound pasta (Your choice! I usually go with rotini or angel hair)
Directions: Add 1 T. of olive oil to a skillet and add your Italian sausage. Cook the sausage, rotating frequently so it doesn’t burn until it’s no longer pink inside. It works best if you cook it on medium until it’s almost done, then cover and simmer a bit on low. That helps the sausage cook more without browning. Remove the sausage and allow to drain on paper towels.
Next up, cook that pasta. You know the drill, boil water, add pasta and cook until al dente. Chop your tomatoes while the pasta is cooking!
Let’s talk sauce… In a clean skillet, add 1 T. olive oil and 3 T. of minced garlic. Cook this on medium/low heat for just a few minutes. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC! It’ll happen fast, so watch it and don’t walk away from the stove. It stinks and it’s just plain annoying to start over. Once that is warm, add in your tomatoes, stir and cook for a few more minutes. Finally, pour in both jars of alfredo sauce and stir. Once this is warm your sauce is done!
Back to our sausage. It should be cool now to work with, so grab a link and a paper towel. Dry off any grease and squeeze a bit. The thing about Italian sausage is that it’s greasy… so we want to get out as much as we can. Do this with each link and then cut into slices.
All done! Now, just throw everything together. Pasta on the bottom of course, as much or as little sausage as you’d like, and then sauce. It’s delicious and we paired ours with garlic bread and green beans.
When you’re shopping for your sausage, be sure to look at the spicy level. The grocery store I was at when I bought my sausage only had “hot” available so that’s what I used but typically I go with mild. This is one meal we didn’t have any leftovers to put away, we loved it along with my parents.