Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

You know what I love about Thursdays? My house is clean from having bible study here last night which means I can pretty much do whatever I want on Thursday! Woo hoo!! Granted I should unload the dishwasher and move the dirty breakfast and lunch dishes into it, but that doesn't sound fun and updating my blog does.

This, of course, came to me via Pinterest. Actually I had pinned it multiple times which I took to be a sign that I needed to make it. I happened to be at a natural grocery store a few weeks ago, and they happened to have chicken sausage AND fresh brussels sprouts on sale. Another sign, right?! I bought both of them and made this shortly thereafter.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Source: Adapted from Gimme Some Oven blog via

1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1 lb orecchiette pasta
4 chicken sausage links
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup pesto
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir around until well combined. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from pan, slice, and add back into skillet to brown sliced sides. Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water (reserving 1/4 cup pasta water), and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if needed for extra moisture.

Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.


I always, always, always forget to reserve pasta water. Even the times (like this one) when I tell myself constantly while cooking that I need to remember to reserve some of it, I never think of it. Well, I think of it but only once all the water has been poured down the drain. Ugh. I added in some chicken broth to make up for it, but I think the pasta water would have been better.

My family was mixed on this. The kids liked it well enough (brussels sprouts are one of their favorite veggies), the husband and I really liked it. Even the leftovers were good the next few days for lunches. I'd definitely make this again, and it would be fun to play around with different sausage flavors, too. I used a chicken apple sausage, which was tasty, but I bet you'd get good results with an Italian or even a spicy Italian sausage. Yum!

These brussels sprouts were ridiculously big. I think they were the size of Boy #1's fist!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Turkle Burgles

We were on a spring break trip in CA last week, and the husband pointed out that I hadn't updated my blog in awhile. I knew he was right, so today I decided to make blog updating a priority. and then I got distracted by Pinterest and going through my picture folders to see what exactly I wanted to blog about, so now I only have time to do one post instead of the two or three I had planned. Oh well! I was amazingly efficient today, so let's hope that carries over to tomorrow. Of course, it helps that Boy #2 is being entertained by an alphabet/phonics video.

This isn't anything we've had recently, but it's super yummy, and Boy #1 keeps talking about them, so I figured I should write a post about them. I have no idea where the name of this came from, but it's something my family has always eaten, especially with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. The sandwiches are so easy to put together, and really tasty! Hey, if my six year old asks for them repeatedly, you know it has to be something good! he even took them for his lunch, cold!

Turkle Burgles
Serves 4

4 hamburger buns or sandwich rolls (I use Oroweat Sandwich Thins)
8 slices cooked bacon
8 slices turkey (or enough for four sandwiches)
4 slices cheese
Thousand Island salad dressing (or homemade with mayo, ketchup, and relish)

Heat broiler. Toast hamburger buns. Place bottom half of buns on a cookie sheet. Top with 2 slices of turkey, 2 strips of bacon (I tore mine in half to get more bacon coverage), and slice of cheese. Place under broiler until cheese begins to melt. Spread dressing on top half of bun and top sandwich.


Seriously, the hardest part of these was mixing up my own Thousand Island dressing. We had these a couple nights in a row when we had leftover turkey after the holidays because 1) they're so easy to put together, and 2) we all loved them. I'm sure they could be made using turkey lunchmeat, too, if you didn't have any leftover turkey meat, I've just always had them with leftover turkey.

Typing this out and looking at the pictures almost makes me want to find a turkey to cook...almost!