Have you ever been asked what type of food you would pick to eat if you could only eat one kind for the rest of your life?
I’ve been talking to my friends about this question recently, and even though I enjoy posing the question, I really don’t have an answer myself. Mexican/Tex-Mex or Italian (#gimmeallthepasta). I can’t decide.
I saw a meme on Facebook this weekend: “How do I stop eating chips and salsa? Do they run out or do I die or what?” Of course, it was paired with a cute baby. That’s pretty much how my family feels about salsa. When I make a batch of this salsa, I know it won’t last long.
Buuuutttt, even though the combination of salsa, cheese, guacamole, and chips makes me swoon, picking Mexican food would mean no more pasta. And I just couldn’t go on that way.
Pasta, especially fresh pasta, is the comfort food of my dreams. I feel like Gollum when I think of fresh pasta– give it to us raw and wriggling.
Well, now that you know how weird I am, I want to share one of my favorite pasta dishes. We used to eat this regularly years ago, but stopped eating it for a few years.
That was a mistake. Because this pasta is amazing and simple and oh.so.good.
My kids joined in dinner preparation last week, and it turned out to be a really sweet time together. My toddler (now two-year-old!) helped make the pasta. She was an excellent flour duster and pasta presser.
My boys helped to slice the sausage. Their knife skills are getting really good and it was nice that they could work on the sausage while my daughter and I took care of the pasta.
After the pasta dried a bit, my boys cut it into fettuccine noodles and hung it to dry again with help.
They loved feeling like capable helpers and the look on my eldest son’s face when I told him he could carry the serving bowl to the table was priceless. He was quite proud, even if I was a little nervous!
Fettuccine with Sausage & Blistered Tomatoes
- 1 lb fettuccine noodles (fresh or packaged)
- 1 C cherry tomatoes (add another cup for extra tomato goodness)
- 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
- 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- 2 C fresh spinach leaves
- Parmesan cheese, for serving
1.Make the pasta if you are using fresh. Fill a large pot half-full with water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Heat a large, non-stick over medium heat. Add the sausage pieces and cook 5 minutes until the sausage is starting to brown, stirring the pieces once. Add the tomatoes and a generous pinch of kosher salt. Use a spoon to move the tomatoes and sausage so they are all in one layer. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook covered for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and use the spoon to gently press on the tomatoes to cause them to burst. (Do this carefully because the hot juice can splash out of the pan). Stir the mixture to combine. Add the minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes over medium heat, until the garlic is fragrant.
3. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the fresh spinach leaves into the sausage mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the leaves are wilted. Keep warm until the pasta is finished cooking.
3. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and salt to the pasta water. Cook the fettuccine (3-4 minutes for fresh, or according to package directions). Drain the tender pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
4. Combine the pasta and sausage mixture in the pan, tossing to incorporate all the ingredients well. Add the pasta cooking water as needed to loosen up the noodles.
5. Serve. Season with salt as needed and top with Parmesan cheese.
So, what type of food would you choose?