Every now and then, I like to share the recipes I would write out on a card for you if we had met in real life. I only share the ones that have stood the test of time in our family’s kitchen, because trying a new recipe takes some guts. There’s time, energy, money, and most importantly a meal at stake. So, this is one of my favorite, easy weeknight meals to cook for my loved ones.
Pasta with Sausage, Peas + Asparagus
adapted from Joslyn Taylor of Simple Lovely
1 lb. pasta, such as orecchiette, cavatappi, or spaghetti
1 lb. sausage, we use Bob Evans original
1 bundle of asparagus, chopped
1 c. frozen peas
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. reserved pasta water
1 T. butter
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
fresh basil, if you have it
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
In a large sauté pan, brown the sausage and move to the side of the pan.
Add the olive oil to the pan (depending on how much grease remains from the browned sausage).
Sauté the asparagus on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, add a handful of salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook as directed.
Microwave frozen peas in a bowl full of water for 1 minute to partially cook them.
Drain the peas and add to the large pan and sauté a few minutes more.
Salt and pepper the peas and asparagus.
Once the pasta is al dente, transfer the pasta to the large pan with sausage, peas and asparagus. I like to use an Asian spider strainer. DO NOT DUMP THE PASTA WATER.
Add 1/2 c. of reserved pasta water + butter to the pasta mixture to keep the pasta from becoming too dry.
Then add a couple handfuls of parmesan cheese to the pan. The cheese will combine with the pasta water to coat the pasta like a cheesy sauce. YUM!
(Our favorite, favorite cheese is this Pecorino Romano + Parmesan blend by Trader Joe’s. The Pecorino adds an extra flavor that makes the pasta so perfect.)
If the pasta starts to get too sticky or dry, add a little more pasta water.
If you have it, add in some fresh basil right before you fill your bowl. Enjoy!
PS: Have picky eaters, like I do? Give them any combination of the ingredients along the way. I have a two year old who gets a bowl of pasta, cheese and sausage right now. Our four year old eats everything, except the “weird” tips of the asparagus. It’s a lot easier than a baked pasta dish where everything is combined together.
More Family Favorite Recipes:
Zuppa Toscana (the most popular recipe on my blog)
3 Homemade Tomato Sauces (you’ll never buy store-bought again)
Thin Crust Pizzas (we make pizza every Friday night)
Simple, Crunchy Granola (with a salty bite you never find in a bagged version)
Tortellini Soup (even better the second day)
Crusty, Overnight Bread Recipe (the smell of fresh-baked bread is addicting)