April 9, 2010

Springtime Pasta

My poor husband had to work very late last night, so when he called to request something he could re-heat for dinner that had Italian sausage in it, I had no choice but to stop at the grocery to pick some up. I knew I wanted to use up a couple carrots and a bunch of asparagus that had spent plenty of time getting to know each other in the veggie drawer, so I ended up with this pasta dish. The taste reminded me of a primavera sauce minus a couple veggies, plus a quick bolognese. It was delicious.


1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 lb. pasta (I used ziti and rigatoni because I wanted to use them up)
1-2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 links sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
Dried Italian seasoning
Grated or shredded Parmesan

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus until crisp-tender (about 2-3 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook the pasta in the same pot according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until shimmering. Saute garlic and onion until onion has softened. Add carrots and saute a couple minutes.

3. Once the vegetables have softened, add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into bite-size pieces. Cook until the sausage is golden and cooked through.

4. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Add a couple shakes of the Italian seasoning.

5. Simmer tomato vegetable sauce until it reaches desired consistency. (I added the tomatoes to the vegetables at the same time I added the pasta to the boiling water, so they each cooked for about 10 minutes.)

6. Drain the pasta and add it to the tomato vegetable sauce. Stir to combine. Top individual dishes with parmesan.

Serves 4

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