Friday, April 27, 2012
Penne with Chicken Sausage, Broccoli and Arugula
I'm back! For those of you paying attention- I took a brief hiatus from the blogosphere, from the kitchen in general for the most part. The bad news is that I haven't been feeling much like cooking (or eating much other than cereal, toast and baked potatoes)... the good news is that it's because we're expecting a Baby Lacy October 8!!
Now 17 weeks along and cruising nicely into the second trimester, I'm feeling much better, my appetite is back and the Accidental Syrup kitchen has reopened for business.
I'm trying when possible to pack lots of nutrient rich foods into my diet to be sure the little one is getting everything she needs. (Don't get me wrong, there has been plenty of mint chocolate chip ice crem and many a powdered sugar donut as well.) This recipe offers whole grains from the pasta, low fat protein in the form of chicken Italian sausage and broccoli- a pregnancy super food- is a good source Calcium, Iron, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, and Potassium.
Serves 2.5 people with left overs
2-3 chicken Italian sausage links, casings removed
1/2 pound whole wheat penne pasta
1 small broccoli crown- cut into bite size pieces (approx 2 cups)
3-4 cups of baby arugula
1 large shallot, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
zest and juice of one lemon
Parmesan cheese for garnish
First I put a pot of water seasoned generously with kosher salt on to boil for the pasta. Next I browned the sausage in a skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil until it was brown and cooked through. (Breaking it up with a wooden spoon into as it cooked.) I transfered the sausage to a bowl lined with a papertowel to drain. The chicken sausage doesn't have much fat yet the juices left in the pan have lots of flavor so I reserved the same skillet for the sauce.
Once the pasta water was boiling- I first blanched the broccoli for 2 minutes. (It was tender but still had a little crunch to it.) When done, I fished it out with a slotted spoon into a colander tucked into a bowl of ice water. The cold water stops the broccoli from cooking any further and locks in the bright green color- the colander makes it easy to pull the broccoli out and drain it before adding it to the pasta.
I cooked the pasta in the same pot of boiling water per the package instructions and then strained it- reserving 1 cup of the pasta water for later- and put the pasta back in the empty pot, adding the broccoli and the sausage.
Lastly, I made a quick pan sauce to tie it all together. I gently sauteed the shallot and garlic in the skillet (over medium heat) until softened- 3-4 minutes max. I added the wine, stock, lemon juice, zest and some salt and pepper before increasing the heat to medium-high. After about 5 minutes at a gentle boil, the sauce had reduced and thickened nicely.
I tossed the arugula into the pot with the pasta and then poured the sauce over top. As I tossed it all together, I found I needed a bit more liquid to make a silky sauce so I added 1/3 cup or so of the pasta cooking liquid as well. The heat of the sauce gently wilts the arugula and its ready to serve!
Of course no pasta is complete withouth a healthy sprinkle of good parmesan cheese over the top...