Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sausage and Sundried Tomato Pasta Toss with Broccoli and Feta

After two consecutive weeks busy at work, constantly on the move, eating out and staying up late, I yearn to retire to my penthouse kitchen for some therapeutic cooking time. Yet as I squirm in bed shortly after passing out from fatigue, I am certain tonight is one of those nights when time and energy are excruciatingly scarce to cook up a storm. The only storm there is is brewing outside my window. I groan as soreness radiates from every fiber of my body, still trying to make sense of where I am as my ceiling spins.

Appalled by the thought of crawling out through the din and mobs in search for food, I decide to adhere to my principles and make do with what I have in the pantry to create something comforting, fulfilling, something least exerting.

I thaw some gourmet British sausages I often reserve in the freezer either for a fancy brunch or for times like this. I pull out a remaining half head of broccoli, some sundried tomatoes and feta, harvest some fresh herbs before the rain pours; and I think I am all set for a no-frills pasta dish that effectively combines all the major food groups in one.

To prepare...
Pasta, your favorite (I use this toothsome Radiatori I found in France. J'adore its texture!)
2 links of pork or chicken sausages (I use UK Bramley apple & pork sausages)
1/2 head of broccoli, cut into florets, stalk kept for other uses
5 pieces of sundried tomatoes, reconstituted and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Thyme, fresh or dried
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper
Feta cheese, crumbled (also tasty with shaved parmesan!)

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water. When pasta has 2 minutes left until al dente, add broccoli florets. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta liquid, set aside.

2. Meanwhile, parboil or partially cook sausages in a skillet over medium high heat, approx. 4-5 mins. Remove to a plate then slice when cool enough to handle.
  
3. Add olive oil to skillet. Over medium heat, briefly saute garlic, then add sausage and thyme, stirring constantly until sausage is lightly browned. Add sundried tomatoes and toss.

4. Pour pasta and broccoli into the skillet and toss. Add reserved pasta liquid half cup at a time as seen appropriate. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes according to taste. Drizzle in more olive oil if necessary and toss to coat.
   
5. Scoop into bowls and top with crumbled feta cheese plus more fresh thyme if using, et voilà!

Enjoy the flavorsome medley of browned sausage, garlic, sundried tomatoes and creamy feta in this quick, last-minute pasta!


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