Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Because I Think Everyone Can Cook

My friend Alexis can't cook, or so he says. He eats dinner with Brad and I often and I think the majority of his meals come from restaurants or kitchens of friends if he's not eating instant oatmeal. On the rare occasions where he has been inspired to cook and shared the experiences with me, he has described the food he makes (and eats) as terrible, awful, and at times, inedible.

The other day, after many work hours, Alexis joined Brad and I for a quick weeknight pasta dinner. This pasta is so easy that I think even the most terrible and incapable cook could do it justice and it only takes about 20 minutes. But don't get me wrong, this aint no poor man's pasta - I could eat this all the time because it is delicious. So, go ahead. Give it a try.

Pasta with
Sausage, Garlic and Greens

1 lb box pasta (penne, rigatoni, farfalle, or campanelle all work great)
1lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
3-4 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls hot pepper flakes (give or take depending on your taste, I like mine spicy)
4 cloves garlic sliced
1 bunch kale, swiss chard or broccoli rabe, coarse stems removed and cut up into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth (or water)
salt and pepper
fresh grated parmesan for serving

1. Heat a pot of boiling water. Cook pasta to al dente and drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil and brown the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks - about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes, stirring until fragrant (about 1 minute more).

3. Add the greens and toss/stir until the color brightens and they are all wilted (about 2 minutes). Stir in the broth or water and cover. Allow to steam about 3-5 minutes more, until greens are tender.

4. Uncover and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the pasta and distribute to bowls. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.

You can do it!

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