Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chef Challenge: Spaghetti

Editors Note:  This is a guest post from Colin.

Have Her Over For Dinner.  The irony of a spaghetti dinner for one from the Have Her Over For Dinner vault conjures up scenes of Lady and the Tramp, and how sad a scene that would it have been to just have the Tramp eating his spaghetti, alone, without a Lady (the word "Lady," incidentally, reminds me of a great song). 

The reality of the situation is that spaghetti is only an engaging meal when you’ve given it to your two year old with full knowledge that most of it isn’t making it down the chute.  The other 99% of the time, it simply an easy, filling, and wonderfully reheatable dish that involves three simple steps:  Heat up, drain, and mix.  This recipe's extra inclusion of cooking up some Italian sausage is one small step for preparing the meal, one giant leap in how much taste it adds.  

You want your simple meal?  Here it is, with leftovers to boot.  

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage

2 Links Hot Italian Sausage
1 Jar Classico Basil and Tomato Pasta Sauce
Kosher Salt
6 oz Dry Spaghetti Pasta
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, grated

Preheat a skillet/heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.  Add sausage links and brown for 2 minutes on each side.  Pour in pasta sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat a large pot of salted water over high heat.  When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook until just under al dente, about 7 - 9 minutes.  Drain pasta into a colander, and add into the pan with the sauce and sausage.  Mix thoroughly, ensuring the pasta is well coated in sauce.  Add a generous serving of the pasta and sausage to a serving plate.  If desired, slice sausage, every one inch or so before plating.  Add cheese to taste.  Serve.


This is as easy as it sounds--the only bit of caution I would give is that the browning of the Italian sausage is a relative time frame, and is entirely dependent upon the type of sausage you end up with as to if you should leave it on the heat longer.  I personally wish I would have left it on until the sausage was cooked through enough to make an easy cut of it all, and then pulled it off the pan to slice it on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease.  Waiting until it was bathed in the sauce to cut it up didn't seem right to me.  After the links were cooked, however, I mistakenly added the sauce straight into the pan and it popped back up a little bit--realize that stuff can be an explosive stain maker.  Aside from that, though, the meal was as easy as it comes.  As I said earlier, I had no idea what Parmigiano Reggiano was while at the grocery store, and so I didn't have it to top off "to taste." 

You know what?  It tasted fine to me. 

1 comment:

Chris Griffith said...

Matt, how about some suggestions on what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

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