Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sunday, Pasta

     The pasta itself was rotini, those interesting spirals that we called "scroodles" when I was young.  The sauce, now--

     Start with sweet Italian sausage, say about a pound; toss a little Italian spices on it and and some fresh-ground pepper, get it mostly browned, drain most of the fat and moisture, then add a leek,* a white carrot and a few fresh mushrooms, sliced smallish.  Sauté that and then add whatever store-bought marinara you like and a small can of diced or crushed tomatoes if the meat/sauce ratio needs adjusted. (Ours did)  A couple of bay leaves, maybe some basil, parsley, rosemary and so on is good, too.  Stir, cover and let simmer.

     The pasta water should be good and boiling by now -- and you salted it well beforehand, right?  Add the pasta, which will take somewhere between seven and ten minutes to cook al dente.  Check the package -- big, thick pasta takes longer than small, fine stuff.

     You do not drain or rinse the pasta; just fish it out with a slotted spoon or pasta tongs, let the water run back into the pan, and plop it into the soup plate (those big, wide-brimmed bowls are ideal).  Ladle the sauce over it and there you go!

     It was delicious.  The rotini were good-sized, and held lots of sauce.

     All we had on the side was an olive assortment: a few Castlevetranos, Kalamatas and a caperberry.  That's all we needed.
* Leeks are muddy things and a bit awkward to clean up.  I rinse them off as much as possible, chop off the root end as close as gets the fused-together part removed, then split them lengthwise and rise out each half.  That does the trick and you can chop them up small with ease.

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