Sunday, April 27, 2008

Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Spinach

Notes: Look for high-quality fresh sausage; the casings will be easier to remove. Ricotta salata is available at specialty food stores and some well-stocked supermarkets; if you can't find it, substitute 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese.

  • 12 ounces dried orecchiette pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chili flakes
  • 8 ounces chicken sausages, removed from casings and crumbled (see notes)
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and chopped
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 3 packed cups), rinsed
  • 4 ounces ricotta salata cheese, thinly sliced or crumbled (see notes)

1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to bite, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch frying pan or a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and stir often until lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Lower heat to medium and add garlic, chili flakes, and crumbled chicken sausages. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up sausage if necessary, until meat is beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes; if garlic begins to scorch, lower heat.

4. Add tomatoes and spinach; stir until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, mix pasta and sauce to coat; top with ricotta salata.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 442(35% from fat); FAT 17g (sat 8.3g); PROTEIN 18g; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; SODIUM 726mg; FIBER 5g; CARBOHYDRATE 55g

from Sunset magazine [user rating 4 stars]

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