Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meaty Penne

First off let me say that my cooking game has been way off over the last several weeks. It’s not that I’ve stopped eating, certainly, it’s just that my effort to record some of what I’ve eaten for Eats@Home has been undermined by some changing circumstances in my professional and personal lives.

That said, here is a recipe for Meaty Penne from Giada De Laurentiis that caught my eye.

On Fathers Day, I was lounging with my daughter Elizabeth in the Connecticut home she and her husband John recently bought. She lounges by watching the Food Network (like father like daughter) and Giada was putting together this wonderfully rich red sauce that included chorizo sausage and Genoa salami.

“I’ve got to try that,” I said to Elizabeth.

The combination of the cherizo (a Portuguese pork sausage) and the salami caught my attention, but so did the mix of carrot with onion, as well as the topping of arugula that wilted into the steaming mass of cooked penne and red sauce.

A note about the arugula: Known for its pungent, peppery flavor it is a classic topping in traditional northern Italian dishes. But it’s strong and can be a put-off to some people. I’d suggest spinach as a substitute for those folks. Also, I added a diced green pepper to this dish - can never have too much green.

Here it is courtesy of and as prepared by Giada:

1 pound fresh chorizo sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 large celery stalk, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
One 3-ounce piece Genoa salami, diced
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 pound penne rigate pasta
1 cup finely grated Parmesan

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking up the chorizo into 1/3- to 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain on paper towels and cool.

Heat the oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and onions. Cook until the vegetables are tender but not at all brown, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the salami and tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook gently until the flavors blend, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the arugula and basil. Stir until wilted.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta into a serving dish.

Add the chorizo sauce to the pasta. Toss to combine, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the sauce.

Top with the Parmesan and serve.

Here’s a printable form of the recipe.

Digg this

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