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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sweet Sausauge and Aged Gouda Pasta

They may have given the “all clear” signal on Sunday, but I decided to pretend the hurricane was still raging and stayed holed up in my apartment, reading a book all day.  I didn’t even change out of my pajamas.  At around 6:00, I decided it was time to start thinking about dinner but I certainly was not planning to go out and get food; that would require putting on real clothes.  I pretty much cleaned out my fridge as a hurricane precaution, but I did have some ingredients in the freezer that weren't cleared out during storm prep and decided to throw together a one-pot pasta meal.

I browned up some sweet Italian pork sausage and then added some of Trader Joe’s’ sweet balsamic onions.  I know that sounds like a lot of sweet in one dish, so I tossed in some grated aged gouda that I had leftover to provide the necessary salt and cave-y taste the dish needed.  I added a little cream and toasted pine nuts to achieve the texture I was quite pleased with the final result. 

One of the best things about sausage is that it’s already packed with seasoning, as are most of Trader Joe’s’ frozen vegetables.  Using these two ingredients takes the guesswork out of cooking.  You don’t have to worry if spice X would go with ingredient Y.  Another tip: I think of shells as a pasta shape for kids and, now that I'm a grown up, tend to favor linguine or angel hair.  However, these little conchs capture all the meat and sauce bits in their cavity, ensuring that each bite has tons of flavor and you don't end up eating the pasta first while the toppings fall off and wind up in a pile at the end.

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