Otherwise known as Kitchen Sink Pasta! If you’re into it.
I call it that because there was this one Friday afternoon when I desperately needed to clean out the fridge and eat everything in it before I screamed. And shopped. Screamed and shopped. And as I perused the contents I found everything I needed to make a little hodge podge pasta situation like this. Which might happen to resemble your fridge. But if it doesn’t resemble it, just pick up the ingredients for this. Ha!
And look, that’s only a half pound of Italian sausage. I had used the other half pound for something else (OH! I remember – pizza quesadillas. I was making them for the blog and it was a complete disaster so I need to start over and rethink those. Different pan. Less cheese. Folded tortilla vs. stacked. But I’ll figure that out later.), and was left with this. Which is seriously all you need.
The asparagus, Aaron had plans for it and it never happened. The arugula, I’d used half for a mini salad and needed to use the rest before it rotted. The pasta, well, it was what I found in the pantry, so here we are.
The rest are fridge staples. We know how this rolls.
Get your Italian sausage browned in a pan. You’ll have to add a little oil, otherwise it will stick. And mine is a medium heat, flecked with crushed red pepper, so it has loads of flavor, with a little kick. Get what you want! You might have a package lurking in your freezer. Go take a look. Report back.
You don’t have to.
We’ll just sauté our sliced onion with the asparagus. And see, we do this in the sausage pan. You might want to deglaze the browned bits in the bottom of the pan with a splash of water, stock or wine. Just get those bits bubbled up and loose in the pan. That’s flavor, man!
Then we’ll add our Italian sausage back, two cups (yes, two whole cups) of the starchy pasta water, a mountain of grated Parmesan cheese, and the zest of a lemon! And the juice. Get half of the juice in now.
ALSO, I forgot to stir in the arugula until after I added the al dente penne, so add that now, or with the pasta. Remember, this is willy-nilly-weeknight-kitchen-sink-throw-together-deliciousness, so do it how you want.
Hi, hello, how are ya.
Just stir the pasta in (tip! I always boil an entire pound of pasta, then add as much as you want to the dish, leaving you some plain pasta for later on. Just if you want it.) and let the arugula wilt a little. Salt it to taste, and you’re golden.
And look, here’s a photo of how soupy it starts. You want that. The pasta will absorb a little more when you serve it, and it’s nice to have a thin little sauce to coat everything. It’s lemony, with sausage essence (We’ll never start a band called Sausage Essence so don’t even try), a bit nutty with all that parm, a little bite from the arugula. It’s just great. So filling and comfortable, with still loaded with veggies. Look, you have no excuse to get upset with me today.
So good! Add other things to this, too. Make it your own kitchen sink business. Garlic that needs to be used up, a bell pepper that’s screaming to be included in something. A different cheese. A totally different pasta. Anything works. But I’ll also say that these ingredients together work some magic in your mouth, so even if they’re not hangin’ out in your fridge already, grab them next time you’re at the store, ‘mkay?
Now this is how we start a week.