Friday, March 30, 2012
Fusilli with Italian Sausage, Zucchini, Kale and Carrots
What a special treat to get locally-made artisan sausage in today's CSA box! And this sausage is truly special. It was made just two weeks ago from a locally-raised sow bred from award-winning stock. The sausage is very fresh, and pretty lean as sausage goes. You can really taste the pork in this finely-balanced and subtly-spiced product.
This recipe uses several of the vegetables in today's box as well as the sausage to make a delicious pasta entree. You can use either the sweet Italian or the hot Italian sausage, or you can omit the sausage entirely if you prefer. You'll still end up with a flavorful dish.
1 lb Italian sausage
1-2 T olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 zucchini, washed and sliced
4-6 oz kale, washed and chopped
1 lb fusilli pasta
1/2-2/3 C pasta cooking water
1/2 C heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese, optional
1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into bite-sized chucks (or smaller), until done. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
2. If necessary, heat a little more oil in the skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the sliced carrots to the skillet. Turn down the heat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring once or twice.
4. Add the zucchini, cover again, and cook for 3 minutes more, stirring once or twice.
5. Add the kale, cover again and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the kale just wilts. Turn off the heat.
6. Return the cooked sausage to the skillet. [You can do everything up to this point ahead of time if you wish. Cool the skillet and its contents and refrigerate until you're ready to cook the pasta.]
7. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fusilli. Cook according to directions. [You can substitute spaghetti, linguini, fettuccini, or practically any pasta shape you prefer.]
8. Just before the pasta is done cooking, turn the heat on again under the sausage and vegetable mixture.
9. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 C of pasta water.
10. Add 1/2 C pasta cooking water and 1/2 C heavy cream to the skillet with the sausage and vegetables. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
11. Add the cooked, drained pasta, and stir to combine with the sausage and vegetable mixture. Stir constantly as the liquid begins to reduce, becomes very thick, and sticks to the pasta. Add a little more pasta water if necessary.
12. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with parmesan cheese, if desired.
Today's bounty included:
Sausage from Nancee Siebert's sow prepared by Fryer's Meats and distributed by Jennie Cook;
French fingerling potatoes from Weiser Family Farms;
From Sage Mountain Farm: organic siberian kale, red sails lettuce, spinach, and radishes;
From JR Organics: organic celery, chard, and red leaf lettuce;
From Jaime Farms: Cauliflower, free-range eggs, hot-house zucchini, carrots, and cilantro; and
From Rancho Santa Cecilia: Navel oranges.