It’s a testament to this pasta’s deliciousness that I have eaten all of it within 2 days of making it, am mourning that I have already enjoyed its last bites, and ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past couple of days.
For the record: I am terrible about veggies. Mostly cooked ones. I don’t generally like ’em in my food so I am pretty bad about actually eating them. Usually I eat pasta with a handful of cheese, some butter, and some garlic. Recently though I got inspired while shopping at Safeway and grabbed some veggies. Also some sausage, though the sausage isn’t essential. It just makes it that much better.
By some miracle I created an absolutely amazing pasta dish. Blogworthy pasta. It’s just…wow.
So here’s the recipe:
1 box (16 oz) mini penne
8 garlic cloves, minced, more or less depending on how much you like garlic
3 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then horizontally into half-moons about 1/4 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, chopped into roughly 1/4 inch pieces
2 links of Aidelle’s Andouille-style sausage, cut into roughly 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup or more freshly shredded Parmesan, Asiago, Romano or other hard Italian cheeses or a blend; use whatever you prefer
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Totally optional but it rounded things out nicely: Rachael Ray’s 24/7 spice grinder. An okay mix of excellent spices.
-Start cooking the penne.
-Heat the olive oil in a medium sized frying pan, skillet, etc. over medium-low heat. Probably use about 2-3 tablespoons but you might need to add more (I did) so don’t put it away yet. Adding more as necessary is perfectly fine.
-Add the garlic to the olive oil and cook it, stirring, for about 5-6 minutes, until fragrant.
-Add the zucchini and red bell pepper to the olive oil. Cook, stirring, until all is well blended and fragrant.
-If you’re using the 24/7 spice or any other spices you want to add, do so here, and add them to the veggie mix. Remove veggies from heat.
-In the same pan you just cooked the veggies in, cook the sausage over medium heat. Remove from heat & mix with veggies.
-Drain pasta. Reserve maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup pasta water. This isn’t essential: you don’t NEED the pasta water, but it does help add a little stickiness that is nicely cooked-in already without having to add anything else.
-Toss the pasta together with the veggies, sausage and pasta water if you’d like until well-combined. Let the mix rest a few minutes. Add cheese & mix well so you get uniform pasta-cheesy-veggie deliciousness.
-Serve withe freshly ground black pepper.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. It reheats well and tastes delicious cold too.