Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Italian Sausage, Garden Vegetable Pasta with Spinach, Fresh Goat Cheese and Almonds

I have been craving spinach lately, and not the triple washed baby spinach that seems to be the only spinach in our fridge these last few years, but the larger more mature deep green leaves that were the terror of my childhood. Ask my mom and she will tell you that as a child I hated spinach in any form. I do remember it being sneaked into a quiche once when I was 8. I ate it unknowingly, but as is often the case with hiding food in food I became a little less trusting of what was being served to me after that. Now I love it. It has something to do with not having to eat spinach from a can and not overcooking it. Thank goodness for a maturing palate and the proper cooking techniques.

Italian Sausage, Garden Vegetable Pasta
with Spinach, Fresh Goat Cheese
and Almonds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 4 Italian sausages
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 454g gemelli pasta (fusili works well too)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, large dice
  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon combined fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 400g / 13 oz spinach, cleaned and trimmed
  • 120g / 4 oz fresh goat cheese, in quenelles
  • lots of freshly ground pepper

In a 350F oven toast the almonds on a baking tray until they are golden. Set aside.

Over medium high heat cook the sausages in the olive oil until cooked through (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the manufactures instructions. Set aside.

Remove sausages from the pan and add the onions to the hot pan. Saute for 3 minutes, and then add half the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the zucchini and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and herbs and saute for about 10 minutes or until a light sauce develops. Meanwhile slice each sausage into about 8 pieces. Add the sausages back to the pan and season to taste. Remove from stove.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat, and add the remaining garlic. Cook until golden then quickly add the spinach. Saute spinach until completely wilted, and liquid has evaporated (about 6 minutes). Remove from the heat.

Toss the pasta with the sauce. Divide the pasta and sauce equally among four plates. Top each plate with spinach, and three quenelles of goat cheese. Sprinkle each plate with slivered almonds, and lots of freshly ground pepper.

1 comment:

  1. O which great ingredients you have combined here.I would hardly dare to call it salad.Food fit for a king:)(Or Queen in my case):)


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