Saturday, December 22, 2012
This dish came about as a way to use up ingredients in the 'fridge, namely some leftover tomato sauce and Italian chicken sausage from pizza I'd made the previous weekend, plus the rest of the bag of arugula I'd used for salad a couple days prior.
What resulted was unexpectedly festive: a beautifully red and green pasta dish that, when topped with freshly grated pecorino romano, looked like it was covered in fresh snowfall.
1 lb. dried whole wheat penne pasta
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
Salt, to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. (2 large) mild Italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 14 oz. (or 1 28 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes
1 cup (packed) arugula leaves
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
Grated pecorino romano cheese
1. Bring a large salted pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package direction for al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion and salt and sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sausage, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the sausage as it cooks. Season with thyme and oregano and continue cooking until the sausage is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and once the mixture bubbles, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add arugula leaves for the last 2 minutes of cooking and stir into sauce as the leaves wilt. Pour sauce over pasta and stir to combine. Serve pasta in bowls topped with fresh parsley and grated pecorino romano cheese.