My journey with Italian food began with a shaky start. To tell you the truth, it didn’t impress me much when I tried Italian for the first time around five years back. Back then, I was new to America, and Akhil wanted me to experience the different cuisines Seattle offered. He took me to an Italian restaurant, and the dishes we ordered weren’t palatable, and just didn’t pamper my Malayali taste buds.
I never tried Italian food again until our Europe trip happened. Some of the dishes I had there – Pasta arrabbiata, lasagna, pesto pasta with potatoes and green beans, pasta Bolognese, pasta in creamy mushroom sauce were simply mind-blowing! Need I say that I fell in love with both Europe and Italian food? Since then, pasta dishes became our perfect weeknight meal. It’s so easy to put together with minimum effort. I know you all will agree with me on that!
Today, I have one of my favorite pasta recipes for you. This is a very easy, simple, flavorful pasta recipe with very few ingredients and needs less than 30 minutes in all. It just can’t get better than this! You can double or triple this recipe. Do try it!
Ingredients (Serves 1)
1. Orecchiette pasta or bow tie pasta – 1 cup
2. Sausage – 1 link, casing removed ( I used sweet Italian style chicken sausage)
3. Olive oil – 1 tbsp
4. Garlic – 1 clove, minced
Crushed chilly flakes – 1/4 tsp
5. Cherry tomatoes / grape tomatoes – 10 – 15, halved
Salt and pepper – As required to taste
6. Butter – 1 tbsp
7. Parmesan cheese – 1 – 2 tbsp, grated
Parsley – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions adding salt and 1 tsp olive oil, till al dente. I usually cook an additional minute or two, as I like tender pasta. Right before you are ready to drain, reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil at medium heat. Add the sausage and break them up into small pieces using your spatula and stir-fry until they are cooked through. Remove to a plate. To the remaining oil in the pan, add garlic and crushed chilly flakes. Cook for a minute and then add cherry tomatoes. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Crush them slightly using the spatula. Add 1/4 cup reserved pasta water, 1 tbsp butter, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until slightly thick. Add the cooked pasta, sausage and mix well. Taste-check for salt. Sprinkle parmesan cheese, parsley and serve immediately.