Recipe – Pasta with Spicy Spinach and Garlic Italian Sausage
I’m resolving to start cooking fresh daily. I’ve found that since I commute so far, it’s getting difficult to come home, pull everything out and then get cooking. Now, I shop on my lunch hour, prep the meal in my head and I’m straight to cooking with almost all the ingredients I need, right in my shopping bag. So, yesterday when I was on my shopping excursion I couldn’t pass up some fresh made pasta or the spinach and garlic Italian Sausages (chicken) that they had just placed at the meat counter.
What I ended up making last night was a nice spicy pasta with the fresh linguine and made a tomato and Insalata Caprese as a side. Nice and quick, and very hearty meal for an October night that reminded me just how cold it’s going to get in Michigan soon.
- 2 large Roma Tomatoes
- About 8 medallions of fresh Mozzarella cheese
- Four fresh Italian Sausages of your Choice (we did Spinach,Garlic and Wine)
- 1 pound of fresh semolina linguine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pasta sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 cup of diced mushrooms
- 3 tabespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
1. In a saucepan, cook onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce, mushrooms and crushed red pepper to the mix and stir well. Add any additional spices you like. I usually toss in a few tablespoons of oregano and basil and an extra pinch of garlic salt and a splash of red wine. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 10 minutes if not 15 to 20 to allow the flavors to merry.
2. While your sauce is cooking, use a grill pan or your outdoor grill to start cooking your sausages. I cook with gas in my house and since it was raining out, I used the grill pan we got for our wedding. It’s pretty amazing and super speedy.
3. Cook the sausages thoroughly, turning after about 4 to 6 minutes. Once they’ve got a nice brown crust on each side, pull them from your pan and set them aside to rest for a few minutes. While you’re letting them rest, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
4. Cut the sausages into bite sized medallions and promptly add them to your sauce.
5. Once your pasta water comes to temperature toss the fresh linguine into the pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes tops. Fresh pasta is a totally different beast than the dried, and if you want any sort of texture to the pasta, you have to mind the clock and be quick about stopping the cooking process.
6. Once you’re done, combine everything in the pasta pot and serve. It’s really hearty, warming and the sausage really does a nice flavor job on the sauce as well. We toss a little Parmesan Reggiano over the top as well.
7. The Insalatta Caprese is really easy. Slice your tomatoes into thin medallions, layer it on a plate with your mozzarella medallions and either sprinkle with some chopped fresh basil or tear off whole leaves as we did.
8. Drizzle olive oil and dress the plate with some kosher salt and some cracked black pepper.
That’s it! Serve it with a wedge or two of crusty bread to mop up your excess sauce and you’ve got a great, hearty Italian meal.