This isn’t my normal crock pot style of recipe. Most of the time you’ll find me using recipes that cook at least 4 hours and most of the time mine run about 8 hours. Honestly, I want my food to cook for 8 hours so I’ll have 8 hours to do stuff – 8 hours to go away. 8 hours to clean. 8 hours to be free from dinner. 8 hours so I’m less likely to burn it to a bloody pulp. But this is one of those pasta recipes that is a little different.
You’ll find this particular dish is done in only 2-3 hours. So, what on earth is the point? You could easily make this in a pot on your stovetop and be done in 30 minutes. Why would you want to pull out your crock, dirty it up, and be done in only 2 hours? Lame-o.
This Cheesy Sausage Rotini is done when the pasta is tender and has soaked up all the liquid. That’s it. The desserts in both of my books are also done in 2-3 hours. It seems kinda pointless to even use a crock pot for something like that, doesn’t it?
Not for everyone. I try to be able to post recipes for all my readers – find fits for all of you. And I know for a fact there are some of you who NEED your crock pot to be able to get dinner on the table – whether it takes 2 hours or 8 hours.
I have friends who live in RVs. When you live in an RV or you go camping regularly, you’ll find that your crock pot is a great resource – most of the time, those recreational vehicles don’t come with an 8 burner stove and dual convection ovens. Having the ability to cook your dinner in the crock pot might be the difference between scratch food and McDonald’s (notice I didn’t say Chick-Fil-A, because that choice is obvious, ha!).
I have other friends that for whatever reason, have gone seasons without the use of their kitchen. Perhaps they are remodeling. Or perhaps their husband broke the knob off the stovetop and it no longer works. They might be making every single meal in the crock – and for these people I try to post breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert recipes.
Then I have some friends who, like me, are somewhat obsessed with crock pot cooking and are tickled pink when they can cook dinner in the crock – no matter the time.
Let me just insert a little tip right here. My stovetop is less than stellar. It’s electric, it’s old, and it doesn’t heat evenly. So, Barry and I invested in one Duxtop Induction Cooktop Burner. It cooks with the science of induction heating (electromagnetic energy, basically). It only works with cookware that a magnet will stick to the bottom of (which is most of mine). I just love this appliance – it heats and cooks so quickly and efficiently. It plugs right into a regular outlet and it doesn’t heat up the house. I will most likely be looking at an Induction Stove when we build one day.
Because this dish cooks so quickly, you’ll need to time it right – unlike me. Time it closer to dinner and if it finishes early, turn it to warm for a little bit.
However, if you mis-time it by about 2 hours and then leave it on the warm setting for about 3 hours because you’re helping your husband do maintenance on the chicken coop, it might get a little mushy – but never fear! It’s still very edible even in a mushy state.
Even my picky child was happy with this dish – and in my book, that is high praise.
Crock Pot Cheesy Sausage Rotini
- 1 pound ground breakfast-style sausage
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar/sucanat
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 8 ounces rotini pasta
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- Brown sausage and onion in a skillet. Drain.
- In greased 4-5 quart crock, combine all except cheddar and Parmesan.
- Cover and cook on low 2-4 hours or until pasta is tender and has soaked up most of the liquid.
- Stir in cheeses and let melt.
Yield: 6-8 servings