Tomorrow night, Will and I will be making this pasta for our LG. I’m praying that it turns out well (no pun intended!).
I made this after having massive amounts of pesto leftover. The first time I had store bought pesto, I LOVED it. It was from Trader Joe’s. However, the only issue was that I had to use spoonfuls and spoonfuls at a time. Eventually, a tiny jar would last about five pasta dishes, which is clearly not what the label intended.
But this homemade pesto is intense. Depending on how much oil you put in, it could be quite dense. The main flavors that stand out are the garlic and the cilantro. There’s just this kick to the pesto that I can’t explain.
Seeing as how Angela and Gerri needed to carb-up before their half marathon, I made this dish. At the supermarket, I was trying to figure out what type of meat to put in. I didn’t want too much meat, but enough to add some flavor. Okay, I’ll admit it. I chose the sausage because it was on sale. Sorry guys, it was on sale because I think it was going to expire soon…
Let me be the first to say that I am one of those people who doesn’t abide by expiration date rules. Yes, I consume medication a year after it expires (well over the counter drugs that is). I use milk in my cereal a few days after its expiration date (as long as it doesn’t taste sour, what’s the harm!?). I use eggs beyond 30 days (as long as you cook them, who cares?!). And… I’ll probably stop now since I’m grossing some of you out. The point is- As long as you freeze this stuff, life goes on, AND your wallet moves on too! I was able to split the sausages between three meals through freezing them.
I’m pretty sure that Angela and Gerri liked this dish, but upon a second try, I decided to ground up the sausage a bit more. This is a pretty hands-on recipe, so if you’re squeamish with touching raw meat, well, guess its’ onto the next pasta recipe for you. You have to separate the meat from the encasing, which involves touching the meat. However, I assure you that this dish is totally worth it.
By grounding up the sausage a bit more, I was able to get it to charr a bit in the skillet. When I added in the pasta, the spices from the sausage (note that I used spicy sausage) flavored the pasta. I dabbed in a bit of the pesto and presto! I had myself a bangin’ dish.
It was so good that Mark gobbled it up within minutes. The flavor is really dependent upon the type of sausage that you use. Any type will be fine, but I HIGHLY recommend you to use one that is spicy as the pasta will mellow out the spices but you’ll still get that kick every once in awhile.
Pasta with spicy sausage and homemade pesto
- Linguine pasta
- Sausage (1-2 for every serving)
- Spinach (optional)
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano!
Make the pesto. I used my cilantro & spinach pesto, but you can use store-bought if you don’t have the time.
In a pot, boil water for the pasta. Generously salt the water and boil the pasta according to instructions. However, make sure that you make the pasta al-dente as you will be cooking it in a skillet after.
In a skillet, separate the sausage from its encasing and with a spatula, grind up the sausage in the pan. The fire should be on medium. Let it cook, sizzle, and eventually the oil from the fat will start to seep out. When the pasta is ready, lightly drain it and add it to the skillet. I say to lightly drain it because it’d good to have some pasta water as the starch from the pasta will help keep the pasta from drying up without being too runny. Give the pasta a good toss and add in a couple of tablespoons of pesto (you should decide how strong you want this). Toss until well integrated. Plate and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese!