If you’ve kept up with this blog long enough, you may or may not have gathered that I’m kind of a dork. Which is why about a month ago, I subtly posted this video to Facebook:
If you haven’t guessed by the video, in conjunction with the name of this pasta dish, then I’ll spell it out for you – I’m pregnant! Tom and I are expecting baby #2 in March. I’m already a little over halfway there (21 weeks this week), so I can tell you that it’s absolutely flying by (which, in all honesty, is mildly terrifying). But, of course, we’re really excited to welcome this new baby into the world and give Zachary a sibling—even if he does say he doesn’t want a brother or sister. We’re going to have to work on that, I guess…
One thing I’ve been eating a lot of, whether it’s because I’ve been craving it or because it’s just easy to make, is pasta. I feel like I’ve tried a million new pasta recipes lately, and kept the ones I already like in heavy rotation, too. This dish is really simple, both in preparation and ingredients, and comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Obviously there’s some cream in this recipe, but it’s not a ton given the amount of pasta. Plus, I used whole wheat fettuccine and turkey sausage which obviously counteracted the cream entirely.
Using a whole jar of red peppers in this might sound a little crazy, but it’s definitely a good idea. Actually, I wouldn’t have minded an even bigger jar, if I’m being honest. The roasted red pepper flavor is subtly weaved throughout the pasta, since it gets simmered in the cream for a bit. The arugula adds a nice peppery bite and since it’s just tossed in at the end, it holds its color and some of its crispness. This is a great weeknight pasta, whether you’re a parent, pregnant, or just someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen after a long work day or commute.
Pasta with Sausage, Red Peppers, and Arugula
1 Tbsp. olive oil
12 oz. Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled (chicken or turkey sausage works great)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (13 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
12-14 oz. fettuccine or other pasta
3 oz. baby arugula
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add salt; cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, about 4-5 minutes. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of fat from the skillet, if necessary (with a leaner sausage, like turkey, you probably won’t need to). Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant, then add the red peppers and cream. Bring the sauce to a simmer; reduce heat to low and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 8-10 minutes.
Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, and add the sauce, arugula, Parmesan and basil. Toss the pasta using tongs until the arugula is slightly wilted. Add pasta water, a little at at time, to thin the sauce (you may not need all of it). Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.