Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chorizo & Italian Sausage, Olives, Spinach, & Red Pepper Pasta

Our local grocery stores are starting to carry more of what are considered around here "ethnic" items.  In other words, venturing into extensive stocks of Latin American and Asian ingredients.  Yay!  Recently, the local Publix has started to carry fresh chorizo-flavored sausage in addition to their Italian-styled.  This recipe uses one of each to create a salty-peppery Mediterranean flavor akin to sugo alla puttanesca but with sausage instead of anchovies and capers.  It was great made with roasted red pepper sauce and orecchiette (AKA "little ears" pasta)

  • 1 6-inch link Italian flavored fresh sausage, removed from its casing
  • 1 6-inch link chorizo-flavored fresh sausage, removed from its casing
  • 10 oil-cured olives or other strong dark olives, pitted and cut in several pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • 1 package of baby spinach, well washed
  • 1/2 cup roasted red pepper sauce, tomato sauce, or spaghetti sauce
  • 2 servings pasta, water & salt
  • 2-4 Tbl. olive oil
  • grated parmesan to garnish
  1. Start the pasta in boiling salted water
  2. In a large sauté pan or skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients (including the pasta), crumble and sauté the sausage.  If the sausage is very greasy, drain.  Otherwise, keep the sausage fat in the pan for flavoring.  If the sausage is very lean, add 1-2 Tbl. olive oil.
  3. Add the olives and red pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the spinach and a ladle or two of the pasta water.
  5. Sauté until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Add the sauce and heat through.
  7. Drain the pasta and toss it with the other ingredients. 
  8. Drizzle 2 Tbl. of olive oil over the whole and lightly toss again.
  9. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.