An Easy Sausage Macaroni perfect for a weeknight dinner. I love how easy it is to incorporate flavours and ingredients into macaroni to create quick meals.
The past week has been super crazy as we experienced a massive storm on Tuesday. With a fierce combination of hail the size of golf balls, gail force winds and lashing rain our city and surrounding areas was left devastated. Highways, homes hospitals, schools and shopping centers were left flooded in just a matter of a few minutes. Dogs were running around as walls around homes collapsed. A six month old puppy found refuge in our garage, the poor little thing was terrified. When the storm died down a bit, we took him to our local vet where he stayed the night. Fortunately he was reunited with his family the next day. I really hope that all the other lost animals get to go home as well.
I think that it was one of the scariest storms we ever encountered. I know that many other countries have experienced this or much worse, but here in South Africa, we do not expect such extreme weather and sometimes not prepared for it. My heart really goes out to all those who lose so much in this situation. And it make my heart swell with pride when people get together to help those affected.
My home experienced some damage as well, with water coming in from under the doors, windows breaking with the force of the hail and wind and many trees falling. But I still count my family and myself fortunate compared to the devastation others encountered.
The next day the sun shone brightly with a calming breeze as everyone began cleaning up after the storm. Mopping up, drying carpets, fixing roof tiles and walls, and moving massive trees from driveways and roads.
A MEAL PREPARED IN UNDER HALF AN HOUR
With all the cleaning up I had to do, cooking quick meals was norm for the week. Never have I been more grateful than to use canned and bottled foods as I have this past week. And to that pasta was a great addition. This recipe for Easy Sausage Macaroni takes just 20 minutes to cook. That is a really quick easy to prepare and extremely comforting and satisfying meal ready in under half an hour.
I just fried up a bit of onion and green and red bell pepper, add a bit of crushed garlic and chilli powder and emptied a can of chopped Italian tomatoes into the pan. A good bottled pasta sauce added to this and cooked for about 10 minutes puts the magic into the entire dish.
In this dish I used vegetarian sausage, which cooks very quickly…in about 5 minutes. However you can add any type of sausage you prefer and cook to your preference. Boil and drain the water from the pasta and add it to your cooked pasta sauce. Sprinkle over some grated mozzarella and a few basil leaves and you have an amazing dinner.
If you find the pasta sauce too tangy, you could stir in a bit of bechamel / white sauce into it. This adds a bit of creaminess and cuts out the tanginess of the canned tomato.
So whether you are stuck in evening traffic and have a few minutes to prepare dinner or emergency situations calling for emergency dinners or just want something really quick to prepare, I got you covered with my recipe for Easy Sausage Macaroni.
PS. YOU CAN FIND GREAT TIPS FOR COOKING THE PERFECT PASTA HERE
- 1 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 x 400g pasta sauce I used the one with basil and olives in the mix
- 1 x clove crushed garlic clove
- ½ finely chopped onion
- 1 x medium red or green bell pepper
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder optional
- ¼ teaspoon mixed dried herbs
- about 8 basil leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 sausages cooked and sliced I used vegetarian sausage, use any type you prefer
- ½ cup grated cheese
- 500 g macaroni boiled and drained
- TO MAKE THE WHITE SAUCE OPTIONAL If you find the pasta sauce too tangy, you could stir in a bit of bechamel / white sauce into it. This adds a bit of creaminess and cuts out the tanginess of the canned tomato.
- 250 ml milk
- 2 Tablespoon butter or margarine
- 2 Tablespoon all purpose / cake flour
- ¼ cup grated cheese
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dried mixed herbs or finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Boil macaroni according to package instructions.
As soon as the pasta has finished cooking, strain out the water but do not rinse.
While the macaroni is cooking ,Fry the onions and peppers on medium heat until softened. Add in crushed garlic and mixed herbs and cook for about 1 minute
Empty in the can of chopped tomatoes, bottled pasta sauce and add in the chilli powder if using.
Cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes bottled pasta sauce has added salt , so taste first and adjust salt and pepper to your preference.
Add in the cooked and sliced sausages.
Stir in the strained macaroni, coating it well into the sauce. Garnish with grated cheese and basil leaves.
TO MAKE THE WHITE SAUCE IF USING IN MACARONI
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter or margarine. Add in mixed herbs or basil leaves and nutmeg if using.
Add flour and stir with a whisk until the butter and flour are well combined.
Pour in milk, stirring constantly as it thickens.Add more milk depending on desired consistency. Measure out salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in grated cheese until melted. Combine into the sausage macaroni if prefered.
Serve immediately. ( SEE NOTE 1)
Pasta dishes are best served immediately after cooking otherwise it tends to dry up if served too long after cooking.