Wednesday dinner: Pasta with sausage and rappi pesto

2013-03-27 at 17-21-15After Panini Sunday, I found myself with about two cups of pesto made from broccoli rappi and toasted pine nuts. It was not a matter of how I would use it, but how I would use it.

Wait. Let me try that again.

I was going to use it with pasta, but I was not as confident in using it as a standalone sauce. If The Sister were home, she would ultimately demand pasta with rappi sauteed in sausage. Bingo. Why not add some sausage to the sauce for bulk and flavor?

Of course, I came to this epiphany as I was pulling into my driveway from work and I was not interested in making a Wegmans run at that hour. A quick rummage through my freezer yielded a pound of Italian poultry sausage that was not freezer burnt (score!). After defrosting it in the microwave, we were ready to go.

2013-03-27 at 17-21-18WHAT WORKED: The broccoli rappi sauteed in sausage grease brought an intense, creamy flavor to the dish.

WHAT DIDN’T: Turkey sausage. It’s such a letdown. I mean, sure, it worked in a pinch, but the flavor was weak.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: She was quite complimentary in between forkfuls.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes. I want to try this out with good Italian sausage. And, I have another 8 oz. of pesto in the freezer.

2013-03-27 at 16-55-32Pasta with sausage and rappi pesto
By Jared Paventi

  • 1 cup broccoli rappi pesto (see my recipe here)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage, or Italian sausage links with casings removed
  • 1 lb. long pasta (I used fettuccine, but linguine would work)
  • Grated pecorino romano

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta per the package’s instructions.

2013-03-27 at 17-13-04Heat olive oil in a large saute pan on medium-high until it shimmers. Add the sausage and brown, breaking it up with a large wooden spoon into smaller and smaller pieces. Cook completely through, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the pesto and stir to combine.

2013-03-27 at 17-13-17

Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with the sausage and pesto and top with the grated cheese.

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