Quick Weekend Pasta
I’m a sucker for pasta. I can eat it with just about anything. Give me linguine with seafood, give me fettuccine Alfredo, give me penne with sauteed broccoli rabe, give me rigatoni Bolognese, give me … well, I can go on and on with this list forever. I simply love it all. Just picture me as the harlequin in the vintage ad above — so buoyant and ecstatic over a heaping plate of pasta.
As I was packing for our return home from Greece earlier this month, my husband’s parents, aunt and uncle were bombarding me with things they thought I should bring back. Among the olives, honey, oregano, chamomile, almonds, pistachios and raisins were also bags of pasta made by his aunt’s neighbor. As I’ve never gotten around to making my own pasta–although I have bought fresh pasta from a great Italian store in our neighborhood–I graciously accepted the homemade goods and tucked them safely away in my duffel.
The pasta were flat, wide, wavy three- to four-inch long pieces that worked well with this sausage and porcini mushroom cream sauce I paired them with this weekend. The Italian sausage I used was made with broccoli rabe and Parmesan, which added another depth of flavor to the dish as well.
Pasta with a Sausage and Porcini Mushroom Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 Italian sausage links
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ oz. dried Porcini mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, rinsed over and blanched 2 tablespoons sherry
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 pound of pasta
½ cup pasta cooking liquid
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Remove sausage from casings and add to hot skillet, breaking it up into smaller chunks with a wooden spoon as you go. Once the sausage has browned, add the garlic and mushrooms and saute for a minute more. Add sherry and deglaze the pan.
Top individual portions of pasta with sausage and mushroom sauce just before serving and sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated cheese.