I have discovered something about myself and that is that I am an avid imitator of my friends, whether it comes to humor, fashion or food, I enjoy being inspired by others. I am not saying that I don’t have an original bone in my body, but sometimes I get tired of my own bones.
Yes there are a cachillion recipe sites, cook books and of course the universal recipe monster we call Google, but for me there is nothing better than tasting a friend’s amazing food and immediately stealing it. Getting recipes from friends after you have tasted their food is the best. You know it is good. You just ate it and it was free!
I tried this at my friend Rebecca’s for the first time and maybe the second time. It was SO great and SO easy. I simply switched up the pasta.
ORECHIETTE WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE, CHERRY TOMATOES, FRESH SPINACH AND GARLIC
(Rebecca uses linguini, but Orechiette (little ears) is my new favorite pasta. I like how it holds sauce and the little pieces of sausage.)
2 lbs of Italian sausage (I use half hot and half mild)(4 sausages usually add up to 2 lbs… throw an extra in for good measure)
1lb Orechiette, Linguini or Casarecce
2 Packages (10 oz) fresh spinach (or more if preferred)
Pint and a half of cherry/grape or both tomatoes, whole and halved
2 or 3 large cloves fresh garlic, sliced
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Remove the sausage casings if you purchased the sausage in sausage form
Break up sausage and brown in a large pot (big enough to hold pasta and spinach when stirring) over med high heat
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente and reserve some of the liquid. Orechiette requires room and some stirring to separate the little ears/Yarmulkas
Once there’s no more pink in the sausage lower the heat to medium, add the tomatoes, cook for 3-4minutes, and stir frequently to release the juice.
Add the sliced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
Lower the heat to low, add the pasta and mix in the sausage.
Turn off heat. Add a bit of the reserved liquid to add moisture.
Add the spinach in handfuls to barely wilt it into the pasta. Taste before you add salt and pepper.
Tip: Don’t overcook the cherry tomatoes.
You want them to release a little juice, but still hold their form.
If you overcook you will have a lot of tomato peels.
To warm leftovers without drying out the pasta, sauté with a touch of evoo 🙂 enjoy!