Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beautiful Butterflies

Another Tuesday and an action-packed day for yours sincerely. Yet again, had to whip up something quick, easy and tasty. PASTA! One of the easiest things to cook and really versatile.
I mean, first of all there's a whole variety of pasta out there with different shapes---spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, macaroni, farfalle, linguine, manicotti, ziti, conchiglie etc etc..........it will take me a long time to sit and type out all the gazillion types of pasta available. Then there are those stuffed pastas, the most popular one being ravioli. Heck, isn't rice pasta too?

So anyway, today I decided to cook some farfalle (butterflies in Italian), the bow-tie pasta, with sausage, artichokes, olives and tomatoes. I had some yummy chicken jalapeno sausage that my husband had got from Trader Joe's (LOVE that place!) the other day. So took out the pack from the refrigerator, sliced up the sausage into discs. Took out a packet of frozen artichoke hearts, got a few arti-hearts out and ran them under warm water to thaw. Opened up a can of sliced olives. Chopped up a beef-steak tomato.

While I was prepping all this up, I had a pot of water on the stove come to a boil to cook up the farfalle. Everybody knows how to cook pasta! While that was cooking, I had another pot on the stove that I drizzled some EVOO into. Followed by some Italian seasoning. Then threw in the cut up sausage. Sauteed it until nice and plump and caramelized. Took about 3 minutes. Then put the thawed out artichoke hearts, stirred it all up. Then finally added the chopped up tomato. Seasoned with some salt and pepper. Covered the pot and simmered, just to get the flavors rolling. The farfalle was cooked and ready to be combined with the sausage+artichoke+tomato. Once that was done, added the sliced olives and gave it one last stir. Done!

Instead of the usual fresh basil in the end, I thought how about some fresh mint?! So tore up some fresh mint leaves and added to the pasta. That mint, I tell you, took the already delicious pasta to a whole new level of flavorful delight! Wish you could taste it!

Farfalle jazzed up with mint--- extra-delicious!

My kids love a little bit of shredded mozarella and parmigiano on top of their pasta. The hot pasta melts the cheese and it is a gooey-delight!

Note to Self: Next time, try adding some whipping cream and smashed up cilantro and green chillies. Bet it will be tasty!

Next time you decide to make some pasta, don't just dredge it with boring old marinara or alfredo. Use something new, something more fun and exciting. Treat that pasta with love and give it a new twist. Buon appetito!

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