Christmas Pasta

I was a little pessimistic when I set out to make this colorful Christmas pasta dish. I thought, sure, it looks Christmasy (and it’s nowhere near Christmas time), but I wasn’t sure it’d have a lot of flavor. I was pleasantly surprised at the end result, which Anita absolutely raved about.Christmas Pasta

This Christmas pasta is an incredibly easy way to cook up a big dish for a crowd. Also try my baked Angel hair with sausage. It’s also a big favorite of ours.

Christmas Pasta

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 -12

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 pounds sweet Italian Sausage torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 red bell peppers cut into 1" chunks
  • 3 green bell peppers cut into 1" chunks
  • 3 sweet onions cut into 1" chunks
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti cooked al-dente
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. You need a skillet large enough to hold the meat, veggies, and pasta, so if you don't have a really large one, use a big pot instead.
  • Add sausage and cook until done.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta until almost done. Drain well.
  • Remove sausage with a slotted spoon.
  • Add in the peppers and onion and cook until starting to soften, 8-10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic and cook another minute.
  • Remove from heat. Stir the meat back into the veggies.
  • Add the pasta to the pan and stir well.
  • Pour mixture into the casserole, cover with foil, and bake 35-40 minutes.
  • Serve drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Four-Pepper Chicken Fried Rice

I’ve been subscribing to Chile Pepper magazine for quite some time now. Though I certainly don’t consider myself to be a Chilehead, I do like some heat in my dishes, like this four-pepper chicken fried rice. A lot of people are afraid of using peppers or hot sauces in their dishes, but I’ve found that if you experiment with them you can get a better tasting dish, and one that doesn’t burn off the roof of your mouth.Four-Pepper Chicken Fried Rice

I found this recipe for four-pepper chicken fried rice in the November 2009 issue of the magazine. It came out absolutely fantastic. You can use whatever peppers you have really. I had some roasted chicken left from a cookout on my Big Easy, which worked just great in this meal. I’d make this again in a heartbeat.

Also try my grilled Kung Pao chicken with egg-fried rice.

Four-Pepper Chicken Fried Rice

Fantastic flavors with a little kick to boot!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 pound fresh green beans trimmed, and cut into 1" lengths
  • 3 jalapenos seeded if desired, cut into strips
  • 2 red bell peppers cut into strips
  • 2 poblano peppers can sub green bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 6-8 dried chiles
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce I used Cholula, my favorite
  • 2 cups roasted chicken chopped
  • Green onions chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • Cook rice per package instructions.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet. Add the green beans and cook until slightly tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Add in the peppers and dried chiles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the vegetables to a large bowl.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Add the eggs and scramble. Cook until done. Remove to the bowl with the vegetables.
  • Add the remaining oil. Increase the heat to medium high. Add in the rice and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add in the chicken, soy sauce, and hot sauce. Stir. Cook until the chicken is heated.
  • Add the vegetables and eggs back and heat.
  • Serve garnished with green onions and a little extra soy sauce on the side.