|Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs|
I'm also slowly getting the hang of completing the cooking process for the pasta in the sauce that will be used to dress it up. It actually improves the taste I think and gives you more control on how much sauce to use, if using any. This also gives me a newfound respect for pasta water which was previously relegated to being just the liquid to cook the pasta in and is discarded without any thought afterwards. Now, I try to have it on the side just in case I will need more liquid whenever I'm cooking pasta dishes.
*Penne alla Pastora - Adapted
1 lb Italian sausage
1 lb penne pasta
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3 tbsp olive oil plus extra
1. Heat a pot of water and bring to a boil.
2. In a deep saute pan, poach the sausages in 1/2 cup water until the water
has evaporated and the sausage is sligthly browned. Remove from heat
and chop sausage into smaller pieces. Return to the same pan over
medium heat and add the olive oil. Meanwhile, add a tbsp of salt to the
boiling water and add the pasta.
3. Cook the sausages until slightly toasted. Add the pepper flakes and mix.
Add about 2 cups of pasta water and simmer.
4. When the pasta has cooked for about 8-9 minutes, transfer them to the
sausage mix and continue cooking until al dente. Add more pasta water
5. Once the pasta has cooked, add the ricotta and mix well. Turn off the
heat and add the parmigiano. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil and serve with shredded basil leaves.
* PBS, Lidia's Italy - Calabria, Praise the Shepherd episode: 2010