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Penne con salsiccia, asparago, e il pomodoro seccato al sole

Tonight I cooked one of my standard recipes and it turned out pretty good:

Ingredients:

  • pasta (penne)
  • 3 Italian sausages
  • 1/2 head of garlic, thickly sliced
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • a bunch of asparagus, cut into 1.5 inch lengths
  • olive oil, red chili flakes, oregano, wine or chicken stock

Algorithm:

  • Put a big pot of water on to boil.
  • Extract the sausage from the casings and dump into a large saute pan, on medium heat. (Your choice of saute pan should be governed by the fact that you will be adding the cooked pasta to it to toss with the sauce.)
  • Potchki with the sausage with your favorite stirring tool to break it up into small pieces.
  • Cover the saute pan and turn to low heat to render the fat out.
  • Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water/olive oil to cover and blast on high in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Put aside to continue soaking.
  • Uncover the saute pan and if necessary, spoon off excess fat. You want to leave some in the pan of course, but if the sausages are a bit on the blubbery side this will be a necessary step. Use your judgment.
  • chuck in the garlic to brown along with the sausage. Potchki some more.
  • Whoops - forgot the chili flakes. Toss a sprinkle in now. Potchki. 
  • If the water in the pasta pot is boiling, toss the penne into the pot.
  • turn up the heat under the saute pan to medium.
  • Toss the asparagus into the saute pan, and swish around. If you can scorch the asparagus a bit that's good.
  • I usually add a shake or two of oregano at this point.
  • Take out the re-hydrated tomatoes, shake off the water/oil, and slice each into 8ths. Toss in the pan.
  • Lots of brown bits forming in the pan? Good. Deglaze with a splash of wine or stock, potchki with the stirrer and get the pan shiny and the brown bits into the sauce.
  • Add the rest of the stock and potchki a bit, then turn the heat down. You want to reduce and thicken the sauce to coincide with the pasta reaching al dente or whatever your desirable texture is.
  • When the pasta is done, drain and add to the saute pan.
  • Toss. Serve promptly.

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