Friday, October 24, 2008


This recipe got its inspiration from my good friend at Zooey and Me who recently told me he's been feasting a lot on simple spaghetti with olive oil and lots of garlic and Parmesan cheese. That's a combination I love, too, and, never one to leave well enough alone, and always looking for ways to use those healthy and delicious Aidell's chicken sausages, (this is a free plug, I swear) I tossed this together one night last week. It was so good it had to be shared. It meets all my criteria for good food: it must healthy, simple, quick and, of course, delicious, and it should use as few dishes as possible. It's also versatile--throw in any veggie you may have in the fridge. (Note: thinly sliced, pre-cooked cabbage is one of my favorite secret ingredients in many things. Cabbage is very good for you, and it adds a certain sweet depth to anything it's part of. I think of it is the anchovy of the vegetable world: totally misunderstood, but irreplaceable when used right.)

1 12-oz. package Aidell's Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan chicken sausages
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

as much garlic as you like, peeled and chopped fine
dried red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup cabbage, sliced into very thin strands
1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
2 large shallots sliced thin
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into medium sticks lengthwise and then halved crosswise
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

12 oz. spaghetti

Cook spaghetti according to package directions

Place cabbage in a microwave-safe container and steam, covered, at high power 5 minutes. When cabbage is done, remove from microwave and set aside, still covered.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a wok or a deep non-stick skillet until it shimmers. Cut sausage into thin slices on the diagonal and lay in single layer in hot oil for 2 minutes without touching. When carmelized well on one side, turn sausage slices over and repeat. Remove browned sausage to a separate bowl and set aside.

Allow same deep skillet to cool and add 2 more tablespoons olive oil. While oil is still cold, add garlic and pepper flakes and slowly heat oil over low heat to infuse it with the garlic and pepper, but taking care not to brown the garlic. While infusing the oil, chop herbs and vegetables.

Raise heat to moderate and add chopped herbs, stirring to coat them with the garlic oil and to release their flavors.

Raise heat to moderately high and add bell pepper and shallots. Incorporate with other ingredients in the skillet and then stir-fry until pepper begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato and continue stir-frying another 2 minutes.

Add reserved sausage and steamed cabbage, then add tomato paste. Stir to mix until all ingredients are heated through.

Drain spaghetti and add to ingredients in skillet, stirring to coat pasta evenly. Correct seasoning. Serve with Parmesan.


Anonymous said...

What a coincidence (probably because I do serve pasta a lot lately) tonight is pasta night. I shall hit the store for Aidell's chicken sausage as I've never heard of it and am sure would not be on the pasta shelf where I shop. If no can find, will ask around what a substitute would be. The recipe sounds hot and delicious. I'm always up for a new dish. Thanks for posting it.

Ralph said...

Z&Me, the grocery I shop at has the sausage ij a refrigerated case in front of and below the main meat display case. I've bought Aidell's in Florida, on the Gulf Coast, so I know it's somewhere down there! Do ask for it.

Anonymous said...

Bummer! The stores I go to only carry Mr. Bruce's spicy meatballs. That was tempting but I can make my own and know the family likes it. The grocer told me the Publix in Viera might have it. I'll have to swing by next week when I'm down there. Tonight? It's back to basics. I'll let ya know when I get your recipe on the fire.

Ralph said...

Now that you mention it, it was a Publix where I bought it when we visited friends in Dunedin last December.

Mim said...

OH this sounds so good. Can't wait to feel better so I can make it and haven't tried those sausages which I must.
I think you are keeping the road hot these days.
And yes things will start improving soon.