Thursday, February 10, 2011

Orecchiette with Garlic Infused Olive Oil, Spicy Italian Sausage, Roasted Peppers and Spinach

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I don't make pasta very often....for the exact same reason I don't keep potato chips hidden in the pantry in the house...I am not to be trusted anywhere near the stuff!

Don't get me wrong...I am not suggesting pasta is junk food.  I know when you are the one controlling what goes into your pasta...it's difficult to find a healthier ~ more soul fulfilling meal!

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So when I do make pasta...that's what I do...I control the ingredients.

In this case we have Orecchiette (small ear shaped pasta), homemade roasted red peppers...

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Sauteed spinach, fresh Italian sausage, garlic infused olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

So while there's nothing groundbreaking about the ingredients in this dish....there is no cup of salt or pound of butter...no processed cheese or sugar laced sauce...

Just rustic, wholesome goodness...with lots and lots of bread!

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Orecchiette with Garlic Infused Olive Oil, Spicy Italian Sausage, Roasted Peppers and Spinach

8 oz. Orecchiette Pasta
2 Roasted red peppers, sliced
2 Spicy Italian Sausages, removed from casing and browned until cooked
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 large cloves (plus 1 small clove) of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked pepper to taste
Freshly Grated Parmesan cheese (mixed into the pasta and for garnish on top)

Prepare Oil:
In a small pan, place first 3 Tlbs. minced garlic, red pepper flakes and pinch of salt in room temperature Olive Oil. Turn on heat and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic begins to sizzle and slightly brown. (You want the garlic cooked - not raw - but you also want to avoid burning) Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Prepare Spinach:
In large frying pan, place 1 tablespoon olive oil and the 1 small minced garlic clove. Place spinach in pan and over medium heat saute up until heated through, stirring often about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare pasta and bring dish together:
Cook Pasta according to package instructions. Drain, do not rinse! Place pasta back in the same pot.

Pour prepared garlic infused olive oil over top.

Fold in prepared spinach, peppers, sausage and cheese. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Garnish with more cheese and serve with crusty bread!

13 comments:

Mary said...

Your photos and recipe are spectacular today. I'd love to join you for dinner. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Lea Ann said...

I'm the same way with pasta and chips. Yikes. I've been trying the whole wheat route for pasta. This recipe looks really really good.

Courtney said...

I'm such a fan of simple recipes such as this. And can you believe I've never had Orecchiette pasta - it's such a fun shape, I must try it soon!

The Food Hound said...

Yum!! Garlic infused oil is one of my favorite things!! Right up there with garlic-infused butter :)

Simply Life said...

oh I would order this in a restaurant - it looks fabulous!

Ashley @ the fit academic said...

Wow! These photos are beautiful! Look like something straight out of a food magazine! Delicious!

Nuts about food said...

I don't need convincing, there is nothing better than a plate of pasta, especially orecchiette with lots of veggies and sausage to "kick it up a notch!...

Clint said...

Ummmm. Now yer talkin' comfort food. Served up with fresh bread and a little vino to help it along. Yup, ya got a winner there!

Jenn said...

I've had to learn to control my pasta intake...I could eat it morning, noon, and night...hell, even for dessert!! Your dish looks delicious.. I'll take it off your hands so you aren't tempted by it. :)

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Home roasted peppers. Now you're talking.

What a healthy and delicious pasta dish. Good advice about not rinsing the pasta too.
Sam

Katerina said...

I particularly love roasted red peppers and I certainly love pasta and spinach so I think that you made one terrific meal there.

Chow and Chatter said...

first class pasta oh man I make pasta all the time, can't wait to hear what you think of the okra

lorna vanderhaeghe products said...

Olive oil works best for a great tasting yet low cholesterol meal.