We love pasta in our house, and I prepare it at least twice a week, if not more. There are so many pasta dishes that we love however that I tend to stick to the old favorites, and often do not experiment with new ones. I’ve decided for the new year that I will create at least one new, unique pasta each month. For January, I wanted to incorporate one of our favorite vegetables, brussels sprouts, into a pasta dish along with sausage. I do realize that not everyone is a fan of this vegetable, and if you do not like brussels sprouts, than this might not be the pasta for you unless you substitute another vegetable such as broccoli for the sprouts. We always loved sprouts in our house though, and paired with the sausage and gorgonzola cheese, it made a unusually tasty pasta dish.
Because I am trying to eat healthier in 2013, I used Italian style turkey sausage, but you can use any Italian sausage (either mild or spicy) you prefer. Bucatini is a long pasta similar to spaghetti with a hole in the center, but in place of bucatini, spaghetti or even a short pasta such as penne would work well in this dish. The gorgonzola melts right into the pasta and adds a subtle flavor that is very tasty without being overpowering.
Deborah Mele 2013
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 Italian Sausage Links, Meat Removed From Casings
- 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed & Sliced Thin
- 1 Small Onion, Peeled & Diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
- 1 Red Hot Chili Pepper, Minced (Optional)
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme, Chopped
- 5 Ounces Gorgonzola Cheese
- 1/2 Pound Bucatini Or Other Pasta (See Notes Above)
- 1/3 Cup Lightly Toasted Walnuts, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Gorgonzola Crumbles
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil, then cook the sausage meat, breaking it up with two forks as it cooks until no longer pink.
- Add the onions, and cook until translucent.
- Add the brussels sprouts, garlic, chili pepper, and thyme, and mix with the sausage.
- Cover, and cook over medium heat until the sprouts are tender crisp.
- Once the pasta has been cooked until "al dente", drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water.
- Return the pasta to the pot and add the sausage and sprout mixture and gorgonzola.
- Add a few spoonfuls of water, mix with the pasta, and cook over high heat until piping hot.
- Serve in individual bowls, topped with toasted chopped walnuts and gorgonzola crumbles.