For my part, I am still going to the gym (although, as discussed, I became a gym-rat back in December to help myself view this a ‘lifestyle change’ and not a cut and dry resolution).
As the wine in these pictures suggests, I did not stay 100% dry for the month. Two weeks into the official work year and my booze-free teammates had a particularly long week. Friday night dinner was decadent and wine was cracked. I suppose I could have easily stuck to sparkling water (I do really love sparkling water), but at that point- meh, one glass of wine didn’t kill me.
Nor did the second.
(although I did stop at two, there is slipping off the wagon and then there’s letting the wagon back up over you)
That treat-yo-self, happiness inducing, decadent dinner (that is also so easy I can now make it in my sleep)? Sausagey pasta. Or, at least, that’s what we colloquially call it in my household. It’s not the zippiest name, so I gave it a more descriptive makeover for the title of this post.
Oh, and I’m sure you were alllll wondering, but this is that pasta dish Chels and I reference under ‘Why start a Food Blog?’ on our FAQ page.
My Dad originally created this recipe back in the early 90’s on a very similar wine-infused Friday evening. It quickly became a family staple, and has continued to evolve as we all move to different households.
These days, my Dad’s ‘sausagey pasta’ requires 3 or 4 onions slow cooked to jammy caramelized threads and then tossed with sweet turkey cranberry sausage. My version is tossed with fresh greenery and crumbled spicy chorizo. The original from way-back-when involved Kalamata olives as well, I think, but neither of us include them now. Huh.
Either way this dish is an all-around crowd pleaser and, if you get the Costco pantry basics I do (sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, goat cheese, Italian sausage…), it can be a cheap and easy thing to throw together on any given night. As you can see, my family already has a few versions of this floating around so have fun making it your own as you discover your favourite textures and flavours.
You may notice a lot of the ingredients in this recipe are approximate- add as much as you like of each! That’s why I generally perfect cooking to baking- few things need to be so precise, you can play with it like jazz and it can keep evolving!
|Weeknight Pantry Pasta with Crumbled Sausage, Sundried Tomatoes & Artichoke Hearts|| |
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 uncured chorizo links or Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes, drained and lightly rinsed if they were kept in oil
- 1-2 roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
- ½ cup artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- 1 lb. Textured short pasta- Conchiglie, Rotini, Cavatappi, etc.
- 3 Tbsp Goat cheese or cream cheese
- 1 small bunch fresh greenery- basil and/or parsley
- Optional add ins:
- Fresh spinach, coarsely chopped (add with greenery)
- Fresh kale, coarsely chopped (add with greenery)
- Kalamata olives (hey, we liked them in here before, maybe we just ran out one day?) (add with artichokes, etc.)
- Asiago cheese (add with greenery)
- Start to heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and cook until slightly softened. Crumble in sausage meat and break up any large pieces with the back of a spoon. Stir and cook until sausage is cooked through. Add sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of chicken stock or water and simmer on med-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in goat cheese or cream cheese and simmer on low until your pasta is ready.
- Once your pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain pasta and mix with sauce. Add fresh greenery and stir through. Serve immediately (although it makes pretty great leftovers, too!)