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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pasta "Bake"

Chicken Sausage, Asparagus and Pea Pasta "Bake"
1 box penne pasta
1 pound chicken sausages (I'm using sweet Italian)
1 cup asparagus spears cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Today I scoured the Internet for a Rachel Ray pasta recipe I remember making a long time ago, which she calls a "fake bake." It has all the fixings for baked pasta, but no oven required! The recipe is easy and delicious, but I'm going to put my own spin on it this time around. I'm going to use penne pasta instead of rigatoni (rotini pasta would be good here too), leftover asparagus and peas instead of peppers, and I'm going to leave out the tomatoes and make it a white pasta. We just joined a wine club, so I'm excited to cook with one of the Pinot Grigio's!

Start boiling the pasta water. In the meantime heat olive oil in a skillet and brown the sausage until crisp at the edges. Add the garlic, asparagus and peas and season with salt and pepper. Cook together until veggies soften and garlic browns. Deglaze the pan with white wine and lemon juice. Bring to a bubble, reduce heat to low. Once pasta is al dente, drain and return to the warm pot. Add the Parmesan and ricotta cheeses, basil and combine. To serve layer the meat and veggies with the pasta mixture and top with more Parmesan cheese.

You can also throw into a baking dish and put under the broiler for a minute or two, but I think it's yummy just the way it is!

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.