Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pasta tossed with Cherry Tomatoes, Shredded Zucchini & Sausage

                    Everyone has a go-to dish, right? One that you are always in the mood for, could make with your eyes shut, and that always comes out great regardless of external factors (mood, weather, phone ringing a gazillion times, etc) Well, in my home, that dish is pasta tossed with sausage and zucchini. Matt and I love the mix of sweet zucchini with spicy sausage and well, pasta could never disappoint us! So the other day, I was kind of in the mood for this because it had been too long since we’ve enjoyed it, but I wanted to change it up a touch. Not like make it a baked dish rather than a sautéed dish or change the protein from sausage to shrimp; I just wanted to tweak the appearance and texture a bit. My answer: roast and slice the sausage instead of uncase and crumble and shred the zuc instead of chop. What turned out was a fabulous, incredibly rich yet light dinner! The sliced sausage really stood out here. The fennel inside came alive, while the shredded zucchini came to become somewhat of a sauce and the cherry tomatoes literally bursted with freshness. It was a great meal and one that I know I can rely on in the future!

Pasta tossed with Cherry Tomatoes, Shredded Zucchini & Sausage
Serves: 2-4
OBJ: TCW will be able to put a spin on a classic dish of hers

½ lb tube shaped pasta
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for later drizzling
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 TBS fresh parsley, roughly chopped
¼ C dry white wine (I use Pinot Grigio, but use what you booze!)
2 zucchini, I cut into rounds then quartered, 1 shredded using a cheese grater (place grated zucchini on a paper towel and wring dry to soak up moisture)
½ pint cherry tomatoes cut in ½
2 sausage links (I used 1 sweet and 1 hot, but use what you prefer)
2 TBS parmesan cheese
S & P: salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Place sausage links in a shallow baking and rub with about 2 tsp olive oil (just to coat)
3. Roast for 40 minutes, turning ½ way through. Remove from oven, let cool and slice into rounds
4. Boil water for pasta and make according to package directions, reserving 1 cup pasta water
5. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the 2 TBS olive oil, butter, and a pinch S & P over medium-low heat
6. Add parsley and garlic, sauté for 10 minutes, enough time for garlic to soften
7. Add wine and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes, letting wine reduce
8. Add zucchini, tomatoes, another pinch S & P, and about ¼ C water from pasta water, mix well, turn the heat up to medium and cover (FYI- At this point I would put in pasta)
9. Leave covered for 10, then add sausage and all its drippings, stir well and recover for 3-5 minutes
10. Add parmesan cheese and pasta to sauté and mix well, add additional ¼ c -1/2 c pasta water as you mix
11. Drizzle with additional 2 TBS olive oil and serve!

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