One of my favorite ingredients is hot Italian sausage. Hungry Bear loves sweet petite peas. Add some mushrooms, garlic, orecchiette, a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano and you'll have a tasty pasta dish that can be prepared in 30 minutes.
Hungry Bear likes pasta dishes without tomato sauce because the individual flavors of the ingredients are not dominated by a tomato taste. Recently, we've made most of our pasta without tomato sauce. Our current favorite pasta is an orecchiette with hot Italian sausage.
This pasta dish is simple to make. We really like the spiciness from the hot Italian sausage complimented by the sweetness of the peas. The orecchiette gets coated by the juices from the sausage and mushrooms, so the pasta dish isn't completely dry. I try to make the dish a little healthier by draining off some of the fat/juices from the sausage. But if you remove too much juice, you'll lose a lot of flavor and there won't be enough juice to coat the orecchiette. It's a fine balance between flavor and fat.
To complete the meal, make a side of sautéed broccolini with garlic. You can also combine the broccolini with the pasta and have one big bowl of happiness and deliciousness!
Orecchiette with Hot Italian Sausage Recipe
1 pound orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound hot Italian-style sausage, casings removed
4 garlic cloves, minced
12-16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen sweet petite peas
Handful of basil, torn
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. When the sausage is almost cooked through, about 7 minutes, drain some but not all of the sausage juices/fat. Add the garlic and mushrooms, sauté about 5 minutes. Add frozen peas and heat through, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, salt the boiling water, add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and basil to the skillet, toss pasta and sausage mixture. If pasta is too dry, Add additional pasta water or olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve pasta immediately topped with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
[tags]pasta, hot italian sausage, peas, mushrooms, broccolini, easy, basil, italian[/tags]