Before we chat about this incred cream sauce pasta… let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that we all survived the holidays! Well, we still have New Years Eve, but we’re just planning on staying in with takeout and a bottle of champagne, anyways, so it doesn’t count!
The holidays definitely felt a little different to us this year. The combination of our first Christmas in Denver and not seeing all of the family members we usually do had us saying “do you even think it feels like Christmas?!” all day, hah! We weren’t really following any of our normal traditions, so I think it’s normal that it didn’t really even feel like Christmas!
My husband and I grew up in Wisconsin and Chicago, so we’re both used to colder weather over Christmas than Denver typically experiences. It just doesn’t feel the same when it’s 65 degrees! Although, I can’t complain about Denver weather in the winter. It’s actually perfect. There’s snow storms every once in awhile, so we still get that cozy, snowed-in feeling, but then the gorgeous sun comes out and it all melts within days. Pretty ideal if you ask me.
Even though it might not have really felt like Christmas, we still played along. My in-laws were in town visiting (all of their kids live in Denver!), and we got to host Christmas dinner. Hosting Thanksgiving was one of my favorite memories in our new place, but that was only for 4 people and for Christmas there were 10 of us!
I followed a very similar strategy for Christmas though and I made a menu along with a timeline for my day so I knew exactly when I needed to be cooking each dish. I am scheming on releasing some sort of guide for this next year, but I basically start by making my menu in which I list out each dish, the prep and cook time and the steps to make it. Then I make my timeline by working backwards from when we want to eat and place each dish on the timeline for when they need to be started.
This was our menu this year:
Caprese Salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella & basil with balsamic reduction
Spicy Sausage and Herby Cream Cheese Stuffed Baby Mushrooms
Honey Goat Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
Maple Glazed Roasted Carrots (back by popular demand from Thanksgiving!)
Shaved Brussels Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Chopped Almonds & Shaved Parmesan
Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Chives & Dill
Standing Prime Rib Roast
It was SUCH a delicious meal, and I had so much fun cooking it! What was on your menu?! Did you make Christmas dinner this year?
Spicy Sausage and cream sauce pasta with kale
Is it just me, or are date nights near the holidays just so much fun? Something about the holiday season just puts me in the mood to be all cute with my hubby and create special moments between us. We’re still making our way through our lengthy list of Denver date-night spots, but sometimes staying in and making a meal at home with a bottle of wine is even better!
You get to stay in your pajamas, you can eat on the couch and it’s so much fun to be cooking with your boo.
This Spicy Sausage and Cream Sauce Pasta with Kale is our one of our favorite date-night in meals. Cream sauce pasta is not an everyday meal for me, but sometimes in life you just need to indulge a bit. It’s good for the soul.
This cream sauce pasta with spicy sausage and kale so easy to make and is really delicious. It’s so perfect for a special occasion. I have made a dairy-free version before with a cashew-cream sauce, but honestly, when I’m craving this meal, I like to have the real-deal and I just choose high-quality dairy products to use. Because it’s so simple in ingredients, it’s my ideal indulgence.
Plus, there’s a ton of kale in it. It’s all about balance, baby.
Spicy Sausage and Cream Sauce Pasta with Kale
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 1 lb spicy Italian sausage
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups organic heavy cream
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/2 tsp salt more to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 bunch kale de-stemmed and chopped
- 1 box gluten-free pasta can sub any preferred pasta
- Cook the pasta according to the box instructions.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and continue to heat for another 1-2 mins.
- Brown the spicy Italian sausage by adding to the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cooking until browned, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, cook for another minute.
- Add the butter to melt.
- Pour in the heavy cream, bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, immediately add half of the parmesan cheese, stirring to combine.
- Add the remaining half of parmesan cheese, stir to combine.
- Turn temperature down to medium-low, and keep sauce on a gentle simmer.
- In handfuls, add in the chopped kale until wilted.
- When sauce is the desired thickness, add in the pasta and stir to combine.