Hubs was watching Food Network this past Sunday and this was the highlighted recipe on Giada's show. He looked over at me and asked me to make it this week. He doesn't often request meals, so I was happy to oblige. I added the ingredients to my grocery list and I made it last night.
Results: This meal was very filling and good. Due to my no dairy diet, I left out the cheese. I was worried that it would take away from the dinner, but thankfully it didn't. It was quick to throw together and even though we didn't have left overs, it would probably be pretty good left over. Hubs suggested that next time we make mashed potatoes with the meat on top instead of baked. He thought that would be better. Overall, a hearty weeknight meal.
Baked Potatoes with Sausage and Arugula Sauce
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or chopped
1/2 pound sweet or spicy Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups tomato-basil or marinara sauce
3 cups baby arugula or spinach leaves
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (4 ounces), at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
4 baked russet potatoes, 8 to 10 ounces each (see Cook's Note)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage and break up the meat into 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and arugula. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the arugula has wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture forms a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut a slit in the top of each baked potato and gently squeeze the ends to form an opening in the top. Spoon the sausage sauce into each potato. Garnish with parsley.
Cook's Note: To bake the potatoes: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a fork, prick the skins of the potatoes all over. Wrap each potato in foil and bake until tender, about 1 hour. To cook the potatoes in a microwave: Using a fork, prick the skins of the potatoes all over. Place 2 potatoes at a time on a dinner plate. Microwave on high for 8 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and microwave until soft, 6 to 8 more minutes.