Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baked Potatoes with Sausage and Arugula

The weather's getting cooler and there's a crispness in the air.  Hopefully where you live the leaves are turning gorgeous colors and you can hear the sounds of your favorite college's Fight Song wafting on the breezes of a Saturday afternoon.  As for me, I live in a place with a pretty mild climate, so we don't get the change in seasons I yearn for...and I live a couple thousand miles away from my alma mater, so I have to watch the games on Saturday morning rather than late-afternoon or evening.  But, we're moving back East soon, and I'm getting ready for next year's football season which I'll be able to fully appreciate with Autumn weather and ice cold beer (which is a no no for preggos like me!).  Anyway, enjoy this fall comfort food...it's perfect to enjoy in front of a crackling fire place!

4 russet potatoes, pricked all over with a fork
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces spicy chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups tomato-basil marinara sauce
3 packed cups baby arugula
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350.

Wrap each potato in foil and backe for 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, 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 the meat into 1/2-inch pieces using a wooden spoon.  Cook until brown and cooked through, 6-8 minutes.

Add the marinara sauce and arugula.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the arugula has wilted, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the mascarpone until the mixture forms a creamy sauce.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parmesan.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut a checker pattern in each baked potato and "open" to form a "bowl" for the sauce.  Spoon the sausage mixture into each potato.  Garnish with parsley and serve hot.

Serves 4.

Recipe adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis.

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