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~ Pasta with Butter and Cheese and Sweet Sausage ~

IMG_6507The Italians came up with the cure for the late-night movie-watching snack-attack centuries ago: Pasta al burro con formaggino (pasta with butter and cheese).  It's a no-nonsense, feed-me-now-snack, a quick-to-make side dish, and, it's a delicious foil for flavorful pasta sauces too.  Choose any shape of pasta (short, fork-friendly shapes work best), and, if you have a link or a patty of breakfast sausage on-hand, not only do the flavors melt into the mixture like they were born to be there, without almost any extra effort, it transforms the dish into a hearty meal for one or two.

A simple, straightforward, feed-me-now snack or meal:

IMG_6453For 1-2 snack-attack servings:

6  ounces pasta of choice

1  teaspoon sea salt, for seasoning pasta water

4  ounces sweet or hot sausage, a patty (pulled into pieces), or, a link (cut into coins), your choice

4  tablespoons salted butter

3/4  teaspoon each: garlic powder & coarse-grind black pepper

1/4 cup finely-grated Parmigiana-Reggiano, + extra for garnish

IMG_6467 IMG_6467 IMG_6467 IMG_6467~Step 1.  Put a great movie on the kitchen TV or plug-in to your favorite tunes.  Reach into the pantry, pick a pasta (short shapes work better than strands in this dish) and simmer 6 ounces of it, according to package directions, in a 2-quart saucepan of boiling water to which 1 teaspoon of sea salt has been added, until al dente, about 10 minutes.  Drain cooked pasta into a colander.

IMG_6480 IMG_6480~ Step 2.  While pasta is cooking, place a small nonstick skillet on stovetop.  Adjust heat to medium-high, add the sausage pieces or coins and cook until golden, about 6 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside until pasta is cooked.

IMG_6476 IMG_6476 IMG_6489 IMG_6489~Step 3.  Immediately after draining the cooked pasta in the colander, return the steaming pasta to the still hot saucepan and place it back on the still warm stovetop.  Add the butter pieces, garlic powder, black pepper and grated cheese.  Using a large spoon, toss until butter is melted and spices are incorporated.  Add the cooked sausage and any of its drippings, and, toss again.

Transfer to a bowl, or, two smaller bowls (to share)...

IMG_6504... sit down, put your feet up, &, enjoy the rest of the movie.

IMG_6517Pasta with Butter and Cheese and Sweet Sausage:  1 hearty main-dish servings or 2, smaller snack-sized servings.

Special Equipment List:  microplane grater (for finely-grating cheese); 2-quart saucepan; small-sized colander; small, 8" skillet or omelette-type pan, preferably nonstick; large spoon

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c7f6a67a970bCook's Note:  For another one of my "what I cook just for me" recipes, you'll be missing out if you don't check out my recipe for my ~ Dad's Eastern Europe Meets America Mac & Cheese ~.  Italians no-longer have the market cornered on all-things pasta, and, this one, while a bit quirky, is a to-die-for must-try.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018


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