For some reason I seem to have pasta on my mind today. Hmmm… Maybe it’s the Italian in me? In any case, we have so many yummy recipes in our arsenal that it is sometime difficult to choose.
Today I am favoring the idea of artichokes. I didn’t really have them growing up but I have come to love them as an adult. Their tender texture and earthy flavor go excellent with this spicy pasta.
I don’t know what kind of weather you’re having, but on a gloomy, cool or rainy day, this always hits the spot for me. After all, when do you most need to add a little spice to your life, if not when the day is gloomy?
* This meal can be made with sweet sausage and omit the red pepper if you are not a fan of spicy! Also, chicken sausage can be substituted for pork.
Spicy Sausage Pasta with Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1- cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) drained and roughly chopped
3- tablespoon olive oil
2-3 Italian hot sausages removed from their casings
2- 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts (or 2-3 cans drained)
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon (or to taste) red pepper flakes (We like it hot so I add double)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
Two very good handfuls of shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
A fistful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 ½ – 2 cups of fresh mozzarella, drained and cubed (I use the mini balls from Costco packed in oil – well drained and cut in half)
Freshly ground (coarse) black pepper
1 Box of your favorite pasta (I prefer corkscrew shape or mini rigatoni but linguini or penne would also be a great choice)
Salt for pasta water
Heat the olive oil heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and brown off, breaking the meat into small pieces with a fork. Transfer the sausage to a bowl.
Add the artichokes, garlic and the red pepper flakes to the skillet, and sauté over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic (burned garlic becomes bitter).
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the wine and simmer for about a minute.
Then add the chicken stock and simmer over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces and flavors intensify. Stir every so often to prevent possible burning, about 7-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and pasta. Cook pasta until al dente. You will finish the cooking process in the sauce.
Drain the pasta and add it along with the sausage, Parmesan/Romano, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture.
Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta and the cheese creates a thicken sauce.
Remove from heat and pour into serving bowl. Stir in the mozzarella and the cracked black pepper.
Sprinkle liberally with additional Parmesan/Romano cheese and additional parsley.
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Hope you enjoy preparing and serving this recipe. Please let me know how your family liked it and any adjustments that you may have made along the way.
Until next time,