Yesterday was one of those days. The kind of day where you had high hopes for positive energy all day and nothing majorly wrong happened, but still, your drive home from work is the highlight of the day? Where you want to crawl into your comfiest pair of college sweats and eat absolutely nothing good for you? Yeah, that was my yesterday. I got it together on the drive home and started thinking about what to cook for dinner. I’ve been HORRIBLE all week and haven’t cooked. Lucky for you I’ve had all the other people’s dishes to recap, or you’d be reading a week’s worth of salad and almond butter.
This just sort of came to me, knowing what I had in the pantry and what level of energy I felt I could devote to the kitchen. A little clarifying via a phone call with J on the way home (and a re-route) to the store, and I was good. Oh, and I was armed with bottles of samples from Wine Friday, one in particular that I really wanted to drink with J–this fantastic Jean-Pierre Frick Alsatian Pinot Noir. I’ve only had an Alsatian Pinot Noir once before, and it was before I knew enough to understand the point. It was amazing. Find it if you can, or try and find something similar. Light in both body and color, and delicious. Perfect for summer.
Anyway, I made this last night and it was really delicious. It could have been a puttanesca, but not quite. Nice salty bite, the pasta was enough to kick in the serotonin levels a bit more, and spice woke me up out of my funk. And so easy that you could make it, eat it, and still enjoy your relationchef!
Which made finally seeing my husband for the first evening in a week much more important than whatever my nonsense du jour was!
Spicy Sausage Satly Pasta (love the alliteration!)
Probably serves 4-6, or the two of us with a lot leftover!
1 lb whole wheat penne
1 pkg spicy chicken sausage (I used Trader Joe’s Andouille) sliced into rounds
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tin anchovy fillets
2 shallots, thinly sliced
8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 TBSP crushed red pepper (it was super spicy, adjust to yourself)
freshly ground black pepper
1 C dry red wine (I used a Cotes du Rhone I had open)
1/2 small bottle of capers, with juice
1 C frozen peas
1/4 parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C manchego cheese, grated
1 C reserved pasta water
salt, if necessary
honey/agave/sugar, if necessary
UNDER Cook penne (about 2 minutes early) and drain, reserving 1 C of the pasta water (I just scooped the pasta out of the pot right into the sauce, with is great for keeping the water.)
In a large skillet (big enough to toss all the pasta in at the end) heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil and brown off chicken sausage. Make it crispy–should be nice and crunchy.
Remove sausage and set aside.
In same skillet, add remaining oil and anchovy fillets. Yes, all of them. No, they do not taste fishy.
Melt the anchovies into the oil, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon until they basically become part of the oil.
Add red pepper flakes and crushed black pepper.
Add the shallots, cook 2 minutes.
Add garlic, cook 1 minute.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and allow to reduce about 5-7 minutes.
Add in the capers and cook 1 minute. Taste the sauce. If it tastes too spicy or salty, add in some honey/sugar/agave to balance, about 1 tsp at a time.
Add in the chicken sausage and stir.
Add in pasta and cheeses and toss.
Add in pasta cooking water as needed to thicken the sauce and make it all come together.
Add in peas and toss to heat peas.
Taste for salt and pepper–you shouldn’t need to add any salt, but if you do, add here.
Add a little extra shredded manchego on top, once you dish yourself a huge bowlful.
Serve with a nice piece of bread–I bought some Ciabatta home and it was lovely.