My family loves pasta dishes and I absolutely love to make sauces from scratch. It gives me a chance to be really creative with different flavor combinations.
So many people are scared to make a sauce and reach for a packet or jar instead. It really is not that difficult at all – if you can whisk you can make a sauce! And when you make a sauce from scratch you can save your family from a lot of preservatives and other additives that they put in to make them “shelf-stable”. That’s what Home Cookin’ is all about!
All you need is a way to thicken it (butter or oil, and flour, cornstarch or wine), some liquid (broth, milk, heavy cream) and then your desired flavoring (citrus juices, cheeses, pureed veggies, etc.) With these three basic things, you can make so many different combinations of sauces to go with any protein, pasta, rice or veggie!
This dish is one of the fastest Weeknight meals you can make and it is so full of flavor. The Beer Cheese sauce comes out so silky smooth. It is important that you use a Lager for this because they have a lighter flavor, it won’t over power the dish with hoppy-ness. If you use a stronger beer like an IPA or Stout, you will get a much stronger beer flavor. I also would steer clear of any type of fruity beer flavoring for this particular sauce – it may not blend with the cheese well since the fruit flavor maybe magnified when you cook it down. I like to use Pub Beer from 10 Barrel Brewing.
Plating is also a big part of this meal. Everyone eats with their eyes first – and this dish can easily be a feast! Almost every pasta dish I make, I like to serve in a shallow pasta bowl – like this one by Corelle. It is a 20 ounce shallow bowl that keeps the dish together while still letting it be beautifully presented. And the sprinkle of parsley makes just about any dish look picture ready.
Another great thing about making Pasta and Sauce dishes for my family is that I don’t have to make two meals (a low carb meal for me) because I can just make a bowl with the meat and veggies and still get in on that yummy sauce!
I think this dish will definitely be a great addition to your weekly menu rotation. If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!Yum
Sausage & Peppers with Beer Cheese Pasta
- 2 lb Chicken Sausage (any flavor) cut in 1-in chunks
- 3 Bell Peppers (any color) cut in 1-in chunks
- 1 ½ lb Short Pasta (spiral, shell, penne, etc.)
- 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tbsp Parsley (dried)
For the Beer Cheese Sauce
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Flour (AP, Whole Wheat or Almond)
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 12 oz Lager
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta.
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add oil, sausage, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add peppers. Reduce heat to medium and cook for same amount of time as pasta. Add pasta to boiling water and cook as directed on package.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add salt and garlic powder. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Still whisking, pour in lager and continue to stir for 2 more minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and cook another 3 minutes then add cheese by the handful, stirring to incorporate each time.
- Once pasta is done, drain and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process. Return to pot and pour Beer Cheese Sauce over top and half of parsley. Combine until pasta is thoroughly coated.
- Plating Notes: In a shallow bowl, fill bottom with a portion of pasta.Top one half of bowl with sausage and pepper mixture and garnish with remaining parsley.