Thursday, October 25, 2007
Pasta with sausage, mushrooms, basil and red peppers
I could never write a cookbook, I'm terrible at coming up with names for recipes. All I can ever think to call something is just to list the ingredients (only those with major starring roles). Hence, the title of this post, Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms, Basil, and Red Peppers. Well, at least you don't have to worry what's in it!
I love, love, love pasta dishes for quick and easy dinners. They are usually one pot meals, well two, if you count the pot you boil the pasta water in. But they come together so easily if you follow a basic format. My basic format for pasta dishes: a meat (or cheese), a couple of vegetables, an herb of choice, liquid, and a pasta. With this, you can create an untold number of pasta dishes.
Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms, Basil, and Red Peppers
1 1b tubular pasta
1 lb sweet italian (or hot) sausage
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
a handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 cup of beef broth
salt and pepper
Start salted water boiling for pasta.
In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil (more if you sausage is lean) over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, mushrooms, and red bell pepper, season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes, until the pepper softens and the onions begin to get translucent. Add the garlic, and saute for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes fragrant. Add sausage, removed from casings, brown and break apart into crumbles with a wooden spoon. When most of the pinkness is gone from the sausage, stir in the beef broth and scrape off the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer on low for about 5 minutes (or longer if you need to).
Cook and drain pasta, and toss with sausage mixture. Add more salt and pepper if necessary, and serve with a fresh grating of parmesan cheese.
If you look at my picture, the amount of vegetables seems kind of skimpy and that's because I just used what I had in the fridge. I actually only had 1/2 a red bell pepper, and a few mushrooms. I think it would have been better with the larger amounts of vegetables, so I upped the amounts when I typed up the recipe.
To me, this is what cooking is all about, being able to open your fridge, see bits of things here and there, and within 30 minutes, having a lovely meal on the table.