Thursday, October 10, 2013

Orechiette with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Marscapone

I invited a couple friends over to the apartment last week to help out with a much needed closet cleanout.  I wanted to throw together a quick comforting meal and this pasta recipe did the trick.  The Italian turkey sausage lended some pops of flavor while the marscapone cheese gently coated the pasta with a delicious thin film.  Even my friend asked me for the recipe since it was so simple yet tasty.  I accompanied the pasta with a caprese salad made from some heirloom tomatoes.  I was lucky enough to receive a whole box of them from some good friends.  I even love them for dessert, simply sprinkled with a little sugar.  I'm so sad that these may be the last heirloom tomatoes of the season!  

Orechiette with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Marscapone
1 pound orechiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound turkey sausage, casing removed (I used mild Italian turkey sausage, but you could sub in hot Italian turkey sausage or pork sausage too)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions. After a couple minutes, add the sausage, using a spoon or spatula to break up the sausage into bite-sized pieces as it browns.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Continue cooking the sausage until golden and the onions are tender and slightly caramelized. Add the garlic.  Add the beans and oregano cook for 2 more minutes. Add the cup of pasta cooking liquid and stir, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until it dissolved into a light sauce. Add the salt, pepper, and hot pasta. Stir until coated and serve.

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