Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Recipe of the Weeks: Leek, Arugula, and Italian Sausage Pasta
It's been a little while since I've posted a recipe! The reason is: I HAVEN'T BEEN COOKING. At all. This is a pretty sorry state of affairs for: my health, my pocketbook, and Shug.
Eating out (or just super snacking, which is all we do some evenings for sustenance) definitely makes it simpler for one evening to not have to whip something up for dinner, but our food bills are astronomical when we eat out three or four times a week! It is so crazy how just eating at home can cut back on that spending! And it's not like we're eating ramen and Tang when we eat at home, we have halibut and free range buffalo, organic produce and gluten free everything. These are not "bargain items" from the grocer, but they are still less expensive than eating these items in a restaurant.
Cooking for yourself also allows you total control over what goes into your food and how it's prepared. As a gluten-freegan, this can mean the difference between unknowingly eating wheat-contaminated food or having a perfect, wheat-free meal. As a person concerned about the health of her family, cooking myself means I can use less salt, more extra virgin olive oil and veggies when I prep our meals.
BUT, we all know that real life doesn't care if you've had the longest day ever. Trying to motivate myself to make dinner some nights just ain't happening. This little recipe is ready in about half an hour and prep is pretty minimal! All of the ingredients can keep well in the fridge or pantry, so this is something that can be shopped for on the weekend and whipped up whenever!
Leek, Arugula, and Italian Sausage Pasta
Adapted from Everyday Food, May 2011
Feeds 4 real life people
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage with the casings removed or vegan sausage of any kind
3 large leeks, sliced and cleaned (I'll tell you how to do this in a sec!)
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup dry white wine
2 T butter or vegan margarine
Salt and pepper
3/4 pound gluten free curly pasta, I especially like the quinoa pasta!
4 handfuls of baby arugula, rinsed and patted dry
Grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast, if you're vegan
To clean the leeks, slice them down the middle lengthwise and then chop into little 1/4 inch half-moons all the way to the light green part of the leek (the darker green tops are tough and woody.) Have a big bowl nearby and dump all of the chopped pieces in, dirt and all. Next go to the sink and run cold water into the bowl, using your fingers to swish the leeks around to dislodge any dirt, until the bowl is almost filled. I let them them hang out for a sec, while I'm prepping everything else, to allow the dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl. After the dirt has settled, take a strainer and scoop out the leeks and give them one more quick rinse under some cold water. Drain on some paper towels and you should be good to go and your leeks clean as a whistle!
In a large skillet over medium heat, throw in your sausage and break up with a spatula until it starts to brown. Throw in the leeks and keep them moving in the pan until the leeks soften. Get a large pan of salted water going to boil your pasta while your leeks and sausage are at work. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add your pasta.
Add your white wine to the sausage and leek mixture (be sure to test a glass of this while you're prepping, you wouldn't want to use rotten wine;)) and stir until almost evaporated. Add your butter and stir until melted and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and check your pasta! Is it al dente? Good! Pour about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water into your leek and sausage mixture and drain the rest! Add the drained pasta to the leek goodness and stir gently until the pasta is coated! Add the arugula one handful at a time and fold gently until it is all incorporated and starting to slightly wilt.
Portion out your pasta and dress it up with a shaving of Parm or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast! Eat up!