Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pesto Orecchiette With Chicken Sausage

Confession: I didn't use orecchiette, but I guess that's pretty obvious from my pictures :) I read somewhere that orecchiette is best suited for vegetable sauces, probably because the veggies get stuck in the little pasta bowls.  I would normally use orecchiette, but we didn't have enough on hand, so I substituted with Farfalle.  It all tastes the same to me!

This was a nice change from the traditional pasta with red sauce.  The combination of chicken sausage, Parmesan, and pesto makes for a flavorful dish.  In the absence of an Electrolux stove which apparently boils water in 90 seconds (is that actually possible?), this dish comes together quickly once you get the water boiling. I found that 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water was enough to keep the pasta from sticking. As usual, I think adding a couple dashes of crushed red pepper brings the dish up a few notches!

Pesto Orecchiette With Chicken Sausage
Adapted from Real Simple
Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-4

12  ounces orecchiette, or any pasta
1/2  pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2  cups frozen peas
1 tablespoon  olive oil
8 ounces chicken sausage, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.

2. Once the pasta water boils, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). 

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