Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pasta?!? My triumphant return!!

I know it's been a month.  I'm so sorry, but I've left the teaching profession, started a new job as a Recreation Director for a  home owners association.  This means (occasionally) weird hours and (always) longer days, plus I'm still tutoring after work.  This basically equates to me cooking about once a month, Thomas cooking all the time, or lots more take out.  Sad, but true.  However, my garden is still producing, and I've had this recipe that I've been wanting to try, and what better way to jump back into blogging than pasta!

My Orecchiette with Spinach, Sausage & Tomatoes was my way back in, and by that point, Thomas was so excited to have me make dinner, ANY dinner, that he would gladly put up with the tomato based pasta sauce.

Now, my biggest objection to this recipe was the sausage.  I used half hot and half mild, but I had to take the casing off.  Yes, I know there are places where you can buy the sausage just ground without casing (it looks like ground beef), but I wasn't at one of those stores, so I had to get off de-case as soon as possible!

Thomas recommended that I cut off one end and squeeze it out like a tube of toothpaste.  Gross?  Definitely!  I lasted one link, and then decided to just make a slit up the side and let it drop out.  Much easier, much quicker, and a lot less...toothpaste-y. 

I was a bit worried about all the juice in here.  I didn't use any water, although I did use a veggie broth that we had in the house.  I also kept all of the tomato juice from the cans to add.  I'm sure I also used a bunch of Italian seasoning, too.  I didn't want my triumphant comeback to be bland.
Turns out the juice was enough, and I actually could have probably used a little more.  Everything cooked down nicely, and if I was more patient, it would have done even more so, but I didn't want the orechiette to get mushy.  Turned out amazing, and even better? The leftovers lasted all week and were equally delicious.  I was sad to run out of this, and my co-workers were all super jealous every time I ate it.  On a scale of ponies to unicorns, I'd give this recipe a solid pink elephant.

AMAZING!!  Oh, and I promise I have many more posts in the pipeline, I just have to find the time to post them.  Welcome back to the Pampered Jes, and dig in while you can!!

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