Friday, September 5, 2008


This is an all-time favorite of ours that I've been making at least twice a month for years. It's a variation on a recipe I originally found on, even before the bags of pre-torn lettuce had become so ubiquitous and handy on grocery shelves.

The heat of the pasta wilts the lettuce just enough to soften it yet still retain a crunch. The sweet toothiness of the lettuce combined with the pasta and meat make a delicious combination, and it cqan be thrown together in half an hour.

1 lb. Italian sausage, sweet or hot
1 bag prepared torn hearts of romaine
4 to 5 large fresh garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 shallot or small red boiling onion
¼ cup lemon juice½ cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. uncooked spaghetti
Parmesan cheese
Tabasco Sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Into a food processor with the blade running, drop onion and then garlic and mince fine. Stop processor, scrape onion and garlic pieces down into processor bowl. Pour lemon juice into measuring cup, add salt and stir to dissolve. Add olive oil. (Salt won’t dissolve in the oil, so stir it in before adding oil.) Stir all to mix well. Turn on processor and with blade running add lemon juice-olive oil mixture. Scrape all into a small container, making sure to get all pieces of garlic and onion, and set aside.

Place salad greens in large serving bowl.

Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, place sausages in a single layer in pan and prick sausages in several places to release fat as it cooks. Roast at 500 degrees 10 minutes, turn, and roast on other side 7 minutes more.

When sausage is done, slice on the diagonal into 1/4-inch rounds and add to lettuce in bowl. The sausage will still be slightly pink, but that’s OK. It will continue to cook for a few minutes after cutting.When spaghetti is done, drain, but do not rinse. Add hot spaghetti directly to greens, pour dressing over, and toss to wilt greens and mix everything together. Serve with Parmesan cheese and optional Tabasco.

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