My excuse? The pantry is bare. We made our Easter trek to just outside of Hermann, MO where my mother-in-law has a house. Coloring eggs, egg hunts and the sacred Easter lasagna are standard out there. Another standard is coming home on Sunday night to a sparse pantry and funky smelling fridge. We made a stop at Trader Joe’s in St. Louis (Do you know Aldi owns Trader Joe’s? I kid you not!) and picked up a few things, but I have not been on a full-scale, farmers market + four store shopping trip yet.
This pasta doesn’t taste like a “cupboards are bare” type of dinner though . . . creamy, spicy, hardy and quick. Presto Pasta!
Farfalle with “Sausage,” Tomatoes and Cream
adapted from Epicurious
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion, about 1 small
2 Trader Joe’s Sausage-less Sausage (The original recipe calls for 1 lb Italian sausage. You can also omit.)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
1/4 cup whipping cream (The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup. I have found that 1/4 is plenty.)
1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion with a pinch of salt and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add crumbled “sausage” and sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic and crushed red pepper cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Dump (not the most eloquent word, but I was getting tired of using ‘add’) in tomatoes and cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sausage mixture thickens, 3 minutes or more. I let it simmer for about 1/2 an hour while I worked on the rest of the meal. Season to taste with salt and pepper before adding the pasta. Make sure it is well seasoned because you are adding 1 lb of pasta that is dying for some flavor.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot. Add “sausage” – tomato – cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Sprinkle with basil. Serve, passing cheese separately.