|Gemelli with Sausage in Olive Oil|
I started this dish as a way to use up an extra package of Italian sausage we had in the freezer, and to use up the last red onion that was sitting in the fridge. Some of the herbs in the garden have grown enough that I could harvest a few leaves without harming the plants (and the mint growing wild in the backyard is basically unkillable no matter how much I use). I also had a tomato left over that needed to be used before it went bad on me as well- so, just by looking around at what I had available, it was obvious that I had the raw materials for a good pasta dish at my fingertips.
Coat the bottom of your saucepan with olive oil and let it get up to heat. Put in the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook them over medium heat until they become translucent. If you have some fresh garlic, mince about one clove and add it once the onions are just about ready (or cheat like I did and add a little minced garlic from a jar- fresh is better, but sometimes you need to improvise).
A dish like this requires very little in the way of garnish or plating- I just put it on a plate, and top with grated cheese, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional- I like a little heat!). You could also top with additional fresh basil if you're so inclined, or substitute a little toasted breadcrumb for the cheese (sometimes called "poor man's parmesan"). The sauce may seem oily while it's in the pan, but once you toss with the pasta, it becomes a nice thin, tasty coating. The flavors are simple and hearty without being overwhelming, and the whole dish can be prepared in 30-45 minutes. Simple ideas with simple execution can easily make a great pasta dish- especially when you start with the freshest ingredients you can get. (I can't wait until my garden starts producing tomatoes...)
|Gemelli with Sausage and olive oil, plated with a little red pepper and grated parmesan|