I made a “clean your fridge out” dinner last night. I found some kale, onion, mozzarella pearls, and chicken sausage links in the refrigerator and grabbed some leftover linguine, a can of tomatoes, garlic, and grape tomatoes from the pantry and threw them all together. I loved the flavor of the garlicky tomato sauce with the tasty pieces of chicken sausage, sweetened blistered cherry tomatoes, and the creamy mozzarella pearls. I served this pasta with the Gourmet Salad and it turned out to be a terrific meal that we all enjoyed. I had some of the leftover pasta today for lunch and it was delicious.
Blend the can of whole tomatoes with a blender or an immersion blender. Set aside.
Heat a small Dutch oven that’s coated in cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausage links and cook until all sides are golden brown, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and place on a cutting board with a tin foil tent. Add a teaspoon of olive oil in the same Dutch oven then add the grape tomato halves. Cook, flipping the tomatoes halfway through cooking, for about 2-3 minutes or until blistered. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan then add the onion; cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, crushed fennel seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the blended tomatoes then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste and a pinch of sugar if desired. Cover with a lid and turn the heat to low; simmer for 30 minutes. Slice the sausages into bite sized chunks then add them along with the kale to the tomato sauce.
Prepare the linguine in salted water per package instructions. Drain then add to the tomato sauce. Mix until well combined. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, if needed. Toss in the mozzarella pearls and the blistered grape tomatoes then serve immediately. Enjoy.