A Watched Pot NEVER Boils…

(Quick) COOKING ADVENTURE #67: Garlic Chicken Sausage Pasta with Asparagus

Garlic Chicken Sausage Pasta with Asparagus

It’s taken me some time to do get up the nerve to write this Cooking Adventure. I say this because I’ve recently been battling with the nastiest stomach bug known to man. Everything that could possibly seem delicious is immediately revolting in my mind. I’ve been subsisting on a diet of crackers, bananas, and muffins. Whenever I try to eat anything else, I immediately become nauseated. It seems to be closely tied to the migraine that I’ve been fighting the last couple of days. So you can imagine that it hasn’t been easy for me to relive the experience of a meal with so many strong flavors, some of which just don’t mesh with an upset sensitive stomach. It’s quite sad because this really is a wonderful recipe. A friend from work had made it several weeks ago and gave me the recipe to make. I made it twice. The first time, I had no issue. The second time however… well, that’s when this stomach bug popped up. I have the feeling that I will be avoiding asparagus and goat cheese for quite some time after this episode. I can’t even say their names without getting sick. Urgh.

You will notice that at the header of this Cooking Adventure, I’ve added “Quick” in parenthesis. There is a reason for this. I cannot recount all of the details of this adventure without getting massively ill. You may be laughing but I swear it’s true. I’m having a hard enough time just naming several of the ingredients. And looking at the photo… just… don’t… you don’t even know. So, I apologize ahead of time for the truncated Cooking Adventure. My stomach thanks you all for your understanding.

A few weeks ago, a co-worker and I were having one of our usual discussions about food. Both of us like to cook and she, being more experienced than I, has been sharing with me a few of her recipes. This latest one smelled amazing. She’d been having it as left overs at work and I knew that I’d have to give it a try. So, after getting a detailed recipe list from her, I went to the grocery store and purchased the ingredients for it. I bought some fresh pasta (which I’ve never used) from the refrigerated specialty food section at the grocery store. I’m calling it the “specialty” food section because I can’t think of its proper name. I also bought some garlic flavored chicken sausage and a small package of goat cheese from the deli.

The dish is quite simple to make. In a pot, you bring some water with salt to a boil. I had so much other preparation to do before I was ready for it to boil that I purposely put it the heat on a low setting so that I’d have time. Little did I know this would come back to bite me in the ass later. I then turned my attention to a different pan where I dribbled some vegetable oil into. As that began to heat up on the stovetop, I got out a garlic bulb and began tearing all of the crispy layers from it until I got to the inner cloves. I went all out. The recipe says to use lots… and lots of garlic. I used about six cloves. Hey… that’s extra garlicy for me. And I usually love garlic. I suspect that if I hadn’t used as much, it might have been a little easier for my stomach to tolerate though. I crushed each one with a knife and then minced them. I threw them into the hot oil. In mere minutes, the ENTIRE apartment (and probably my neighbor’s, too) smelled like a garlic field had gone up in flames.

While my nose was being assaulted by this strong aroma, I was busy slicing up a couple links of my chicken sausage. I added those into the garlic and oil, and allowed those to brown while I turned my attention to the asparagus. Or would have had I not remembered that the water was still on low and wasn’t even looking hot. I turned up the heat to Medium and resumed my work with the asparagus. To save myself as much trouble of remembering this green stalk of a vegetable, I washed them, and cut them into two inch long pieces with a knife. The recipe calls for steaming them. I have a steaming piece that lays into my pot that the water was supposed to be boiling in. It wasn’t though. It was just… steaming. I once again turned up the heat and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Meanwhile, the sausage was browning in the pan along with the garlic. My eyes were watering. The asparagus was lying limp and sad in the steaming tray.

Waited.

Waited.

Finally, after what felt like forever, the water came to a boil. I threw in the pasta, placed the tray with the asparagus on top, and put the lid on. And within ten minutes, it was all done. I had to turn off the sausage part of the way through though, because it was already done.

When all was done, I put the asparagus tray on the stove top and drained the water from the pasta pot.  Then after adding in the garlic, sausage, and asparagus, I took my package of goat cheese and added about four tablespoons of it to the pot. Then, I mixed everything together letting the heat melt everything.

…Oh. Hang on. Feeling kinda gross. *drinks water* Okay.

That’s the meal. That’s the super wonderful dish that should have been delicious. Oh how I hate it when your mind makes an association between something gross and an ordinary kind of food. Ever had that happen? There are things that you’ve loved before but just suddenly can’t stomach? Happened with hot dogs for a while. And peanut butter. And Spaghettios… but that last one, I never actually had again. Trust me, this recipe is worth it to make, and if I wasn’t dealing with whatever this Satanic stomach bug is, I’d be backing it completely.

Ugh. Now I can smell my neighbor’s cooking dinner. Oh no. And it’s seafood….

Next week on Cooking Adventures, I’ll be creating some moist and scrumptious pumpkin muffins that can be a treat for your mornings on the go. Stay tuned!

~KSilva

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