Andouille Sausage Pasta Marinara with Garlic Bread

Over the weekend, the hubby and I were both craving pasta, and our ultimate favorite always includes marinara sauce. While homemade sauce is delicious, I had the next best thing on hand at home - Rao's Marinara! We absolutely love Rao's ever since we started visiting the restaurant in Las Vegas years ago. I had planned on using italian sausage, but I saw freshly made andouille sausage at the store, so I decided to spice it up and add some smoke to the pasta! You could substitute with any type of sausage you like, but I'd recommend giving this a try! You can also use whichever type of pasta you like, but we both love rigatoni in this type of dish. The bread was very simple and is listed below as well. The pasta makes delicious leftovers. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Bread (3 pieces)

1/2 loaf fresh bread of your choice (I bought rosemary bread)

1-2 tb olive oil

dash of garlic powder

dash of italian seasoning

Pasta

1 pound rotini pasta, cooked al dente

2 links andouille sausage, sliced

1 24 oz jar marinara sauce

1/2 lemon, zested

1 cup kale, shredded (or spinach)

1/2 tb italian seasoning

dash of salt

dash of pepper

1 tb olive oil

~ 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used a mozzarella/provolone combination)

2-3 leaves fresh basil, torn into small pieces, for garnish

Directions:

For the bread, simply brush each piece of bread with olive oil, top with the garlic powder and italian seasoning, and broil in the oven for approximately 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente, or per the instructions on the box. While that is cooking, heat a saute pan over medium heat with the olive oil and cook the andouille sausage for approximately 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Reduce the heat to low and add the marinara sauce, lemon zest, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir together to combine. When the pasta is al dente, toss into the sauce mixture and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Turn on your broiler (I used high with the rack still in the middle of the oven). Top the pasta with cheese and place in the oven to broil for 3 minutes or until it's melted and starting to brown a little. Remove and top with the basil. Serve immediately while hot!

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