I love to write about my family — I love them and they are very cool people to write about.
On top of which I can’t tell you how great it is getting to know all my nieces and nephews as adults. There was a lot of lost time between my family and myself, but sobriety has allowed a similar but in some ways very different version of me to emerge, for them to get to know in ways that weren’t possible before. I hope they all know that I will always make myself available to them now — kids, just know that Aunt Jen loves you!!!

Recently one nephew in particular has been a standout for me, namely Avery Louis Green Rosin, avid eater of all things pasta!!! He is just the most pasta-eatin’-est boy you ever could lay your eyes on, and he’s in fantastic shape so he can afford the carbs, unlike the rest of us who are constantly dieting. So when the rest of the family has other plans and everyone disappears from the premises except for Avy and me, the first thing we must discuss isn’t whether or not we will eat pasta — that’s a given. It’s more like, what kind of sauce and what meat (if any) we will include, and then further details and preferences. And so it goes until the lovely pot is brimming with one of my ever-present wild ideas overflowing from the depths of my culinary psyche!!!

The thing is, Avery’s presence in the house seems to have a incredibly calming effect on all who pass through the front door, especially the family who live in these walls, like someone is smiling at you at whom it is simply quite impossible to not smile back. He’s a very cool guy and reminds me of a mixture of so many different aspects of both his parents, his aunts and uncles, his grandparents — he embodies all of their very best traits!! Yet somehow he is very much his own man, and going to college (at UPenn, I might add) has brought that out in him even more!!!
And coincidentally, talking to him and hanging out with him makes me feel like I just ate a big bowl of pasta, all mellow and happy!!!

Enjoy, this recipe — it’s super fast and easy, as all recipes for college students should be!!!

Spicy Chicken Sausage and Shrimp Pasta:
1 package 
pasta of choice (we had spagettini) cooked to package directions
1 jar Rao’s Marinara (or any marinara will do — Rao’s is a favorite of Avy’s)
1 package spicy chicken sausage, sliced
1 package frozen shrimp (peeled and thawed)
2 cloves minced garlic
Garlic salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta and set aside, drizzle with a little olive oil so it doesn’t stick to itself.
Saute over medium high heat sliced sausage until it gets a little color on it. Add shrimp, garlic, and marinara, heat through to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low for about two more minutes add pasta and season with garlic salt and pepper to taste, cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes, serve with parmesan.

And as always, enjoy!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010