Let me forewarn everyone that this is one long and rambling post as I gush about my vacation, what’s been happening with me, and just generally chatting. Please pull up a chair and talk to me for a bit.
Hello Everyone! I hope this post finds you happy, healthy, and wise. As I log into my blog to write a few posts and connect again with you, my most favorite readers, I am sitting at a Panera Bread (new-to-me) in New York City. How ever-loving exciting is that? This is a vacation that was long in coming, was highly anticipated, and was a much needed break. The issues that I’ve been having with my neck and shoulder have magically disappeared. I figured a large majority of it all was just overwork and stress. I experience this same thing whenever something really important in my life is happening, like trying to pass my large comprehensive exam and earn my Master’s Degree many, many moons ago.
The stress of late was connected to a large work project: we built a new library location for our community!! How cool is that? It was my first time to be involved in the process of everything from layout and design to moving our collection and training new staff. It was a wild ride (and one we are embarking on again, on a smaller scale, as we renovate another facility) and I loved every minute of it. But something of that scale takes much time and nerves of steel, which I am definitely developing.
To reward myself for a job well-done and to go off for my first “just me” vacation in 7 years, I decided to visit the next place on my list of “must do in my lifetime”: New York City. It just happens that this was the perfect time. The Feisty Foodie (who you all know is a good friend) said, “Come on up and I’ll introduce you to my most awesome city.” Who can refuse an offer like that?
In the weeks leading up to my vacation, I was lamenting to Feisty one evening how much I really miss pasta, but that I can’t handle the tomato sauce (all my loyal readers know THAT story). As well, I knew that there were ways to make great pasta dishes without tomato sauces….but this particular skill eludes me. In the course of a few minutes, Feisty had written a general recipe I could follow, with a few tweaks, to create a pasta dish I might enjoy.
Picking up the ingredients the next day, I came home and was able to make the dish above in about 30-40 minutes. I was shocked and amazed I made something that was so delicious, had that comforting pasta quality, and didn’t need tomatoes. Below, I share with you the general recipe/technique she gave to me and the ingredients I used to make the dish. I hope you all enjoy it too!
As always, be the bento everyone! ~Jenn
P.S. Look for some posts this week as I walk and walk and walk around New York on vacation. I’m mainly here to eat. I bet that doesn’t surprise you one bit.
Pasta ala Feisty Foodie
- 1/2 package of linguine (purchase the best brand you can afford)
- 1 pound of the Italian sausage you love the best. I buy a brand from Whole Foods that has basil and pine nuts in it. This means that the protein source I am using is already well-seasoned and works out great.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (use more if you like. I cut back since the sausage had garlic in it already)
- 1/2 package of spinach leaves
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons of a good extra virgin olive oil. I use a Garlic Olive Oil I purchase from a local spice company in Baton Rouge.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the meat of the Italian sausage from the casing and dispose of the casing. Rough chop the meat with a knife.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package’s directions. Be sure not to overcook as you’re going to put it in the pan with the cooked sausage to bring the dish together at the end. It will cook a wee bit more at this point, so keep this in mind. Salt the water if you need to give your pasta bit more flavor.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the minced garlic, cooking it a bit but not allowing it to brown.
- Add the chopped Italian sausage to the pan, cooking it through.
- Check your pasta and see if it is done. If done, remove the cooked pasta from the boiling water with tongs and transfer it to the skillet. Do NOT drain the pasta.
- Add the spinach and cheese, tossing the pasta with all its ingredients.
- Serve the dish in a plate that makes you happy. That blue & white English plate I own always makes me smile
- If you want, eat the pasta with some really great toasted bread. I am partial to baguettes and ciabatta.