Dish of the Day: Quick Pasta for One

13 March 2007 at 23:49 1 comment

pasta.jpgWhen I don’t feel much like cooking, I tend to fall back on a handful of old favorite recipes. This pasta recipe is one of my standbys. I can prepare it in under thirty minutes.

3 ounces dried pasta*
1 Vegetarian Italian Sausage*
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 generous pinch chili pepper flakes
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh greens*
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted until golden brown
Salt and pepper to taste

*Ingredient Notes:

  • Pasta: I’ve prepared this recipe with all sorts of pasta from spaghetti (as in the picture) to penne. The best pasta shapes have been those with indentations to hold the topping: fusilli, orechiette, etc.
  • Vegetarian Sausage: I’ve been using Boca brand Italian “sausage,” which have a nice fennel and sage flavor. If sausage is frozen, you’ll need to thaw it.
  • Greens: When I first came up with this recipe, I always used spinach, but now I’ve started to try other greens. Lately I’ve been favoring broccoli rabe. I cut off the top part of the stalk, from the point where the leaves start, and discard the tougher bottom portion of the stem. Eight to twelve stalks yield around two cups of chopped greens.
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
  2. While the water boils and the pasta cooks, prepare the “sausage” and greens.
  3. Mash the sausage with a fork and chop lightly with a knife until the consistency of ground meat.
    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until it shimmers.
  4. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, and sauté until the garlic is just golden. This usually takes no more than 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Reduce heat to medium high and add sausage. Sauté the sausage until crispy and lightly browned.
  6. Add the greens and toss with the sausage. Sauté until just wilted.
  7. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the sausage and greens. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and stir to blend.
  8. Season to taste, and top with toasted pine nuts.

Serves: 1

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Entry filed under: Food, Life, Recipes.

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