Brown Butter Shells w/ Sausage & Pecorino

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The recipe inspiration here was from Blue Apron – but we did switch it up just a tad, but I feel I should give them appropriate credit. It was yum. This is a quick and easy recipe that tastes like it took longer than it did. Its become a staple in our house, even our little one will eat it! 🙂 Hope you enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Italian sausage – 1/2 lb already ground or approx 3-4 Italian sausage links (removed from their casings)
  •  1.5 cups fresh peas or can use frozen
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tbsp dried ground/rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped garlic
  • 8 oz orecchiette or shell pasta

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat large pot of water to boiling and cook pasta until al dente
  2. Meanwhile in larger skillet (ensure at least 2. inches deep) heat 4 tbsp of butter (or a bit more if you like) over medium high heat
  3. When butter begins to foam, add in sausage and begin to cook until browned. Breaking up sausage with back of wooden spoon – into little bits.
  4. Add garlic and continue cooking.
  5. When pasta is finished, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and strain off the rest. Set aside.
  6. When sausage is almost finished cooking (only a few spots of pink left), add in the sage and cook until sausage is completely cooked through.
  7. Add in peas and the cooked pasta.
  8. Stir together.
  9. Reduce heat to medium/low.
  10. Add in 2 tbsp of pasta water, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up any brown bits. The water should help start to make a sauce.
  11. Add in another 2 tbsp of pasta water and stir.
  12. Add in pecorino cheese, a pinch of salt and a couple of pinches of black pepper.
  13. If the sauce is too thick – add in another tbsp of pasta water at a time, stir in between to ensure you don’t add too much water – you want there to be a coating…but not soupy.
  14. Remove from heat and serve!
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boiling pasta

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cooking Italian sausage

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added sage and garlic

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adding peas

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adding pasta

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adding cheese

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mixing and adding salt/pepper

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LOOK at this FACE. Loving his pasta. 🙂 

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

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Pasta salad is delicious – WHEN its done right. I am kinda picky about my pasta salad which is odd b/c I eat pretty much everything that comes in my path. Usually restaurants throw in a bunch of pasta, red onion and a basic Italian salad dressing and charge way too much for that thoughtless dish. No thank you!!

I love to make this salad for when I have friends over. They always think its store-bought, but its not! Its super easy to make and is bursting with flavor. If I have leftovers, I use for lunches or quick dinners on weeknights. Grill up a chicken breast or some shrimp – toss it all together and you’ve got a delicious meal. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 pound rotini pasta
  • 3/4 pound bow tie pasta
  • 3/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups pesto, store-bought or click here to try my recipe
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parm Ramano
  • 1 small bag frozen petite peas, defrosted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a large heavily salted pot of water to a boil. Add all pasta. Cook in boiling water for about 8 to 10 minutes total, but taste to ensure its done. Strain and rinse gently with cold water. Toss with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spinach in the microwave according to package directions. Strain into a colander, rinse with cold water and press out the liquid with the back of a spoon. I also grab paper towels and do one last smoosh through the colander to get out any additional liquid. Set aside.
  3. In a very large bowl, stir together pesto, spinach, lemon juice, balsamic, mayonnaise, salt and black pepper. Add pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, peas, and 1/2 cup the parmesan cheese.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Before serving, sprinkle with other 1/2 cup of the cheese.
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Cooked pasta tossed in olive oil

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Peas thawing

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Chopped sun-dried tomatoes

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Mixing mayo, spinach, pesto, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice & red pepper flakes

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Final product!