Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Orecchitte with Chicory, Beans and Sausage

Last month I made a pasta dish using arugula that was a big hit with the family.  With yet another bunch of bitter greens (the chicory) needing a good home, my thoughts turned again to pasta.  This time though, I wanted to develop my own recipe based on what I had learned from past experience. I kept the sausage in the dish and added white beans for another textural element.  I also wanted to have more of a sauce this time, so mascarpone cheese combined with some of the pasta cooking water was called into service. The result was excellent, the chicory maintained a decent bitterness after cooking that didn't overpower the dish, but still could not be missed.  

Share Contents Used
All the Chicory

1/2 lb orecchitte pasta
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 lb Italian turkey sausage (casings removed)
1/3 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup canned white beans, drained and rinsed
4-6 cups chicory (or other bitter greens)
1 tsp dry oregano
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orecchitte per package instructions.  Drain, reserving a cup or two of the cooking water and set aside.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oil sausage and onion and cook, breaking up the sausage until nicely browned (5-7 minutes). Add the oregano and beans and cook for another minute.  Take a quarter cup of the water out of the pasta pot and add it to the skillet, then bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the chicory.  Cover the skillet and let cook until the chicory has just started to wilt, 2-3 minutes.  Uncover and mix in the mascarpone and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and stir to coat, adding small amounts of the reserved cooking water if the sauce seems dry.

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