Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sausage & Cauliflower with Pasta

Here is a hardy cheap pasta dish that uses up a whole head of cauliflower. And there will even be enough to fill up any ravenous semester final cramming college dorm mate.

Often cauliflower goes bad before I can use it all up, but now that problem is solved with my Sausage & Cauliflower with Pasta.

Normally I would use expensive Italian sausage, but I've found 8 oz. links of Farmer John's sausage links are a tasty and cheaper substitution. Even at a regular market these small packages are barely over a dollar, and my local 99c only Store seems to always stock them. I miss the fennel and Italian herb flavors, but you can get most of the lost spices back by adding dried Italian herbs to cooked breakfast sausage. I usually buy cauliflower there too, but my local chain grocery carries it on sale, too.

The dish is easy to make, just brown the sausage; then steam the cauliflower florets for a few minutes while your pasta is boiling. Three main ingredients and some dried herbs are all that's needed for this latest, and satisfying 99 Cent Chef entree.

Ingredients (serves 3 - 4)
  • Head of cauliflower (about 2-3 lbs.) - break into florets. Broccoli works just as well.
  • 8 ounce package of breakfast sausage links - okay to use any sausage on sale, even Italian.
  • 1 package pasta - any type you like.
  • 1/4 cup of pasta water - to steam cauliflower.
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parmesan - or fresh shaved, optional.
  • Pinch of dried Italian herbs - or fresh.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Break apart sausage links and saute until brown, in a large pan. Remove sausage and set aside. Sprinkle a pinch of Italian herbs on sausage. Leave a tablespoon (or more) of rendered grease in the pan for flavor (some sausage may have more fat, so drain it if necessary).

Start boiling your pasta, after a couple of minutes spoon out a few tablespoons of pasta water (about 1/4 cup) and add to pan. Scrape loose brown bits, then add cauliflower florets. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and steam cauliflower until tender, about 5-10 minutes.

Finally, return sausage to cooked cauliflower, sprinkle on dried parmesan (optional) and stir in pasta. Mix well, heat through for a minute and serve.

1 comment:

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