I think I mentioned that last week, J and I took a whirlwind sojourn to Vegas to have dinner with the Queen Mother (and Dad!) for her birthday.
“Whirlwind” doesn’t begin to describe our trip, if you want the truth. We landed at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, and my brother was graciously waiting to pick us up. We headed straight to Mom and Dad’s house for celebratory champagne to kick off the evening festivities, then went to dinner at Mastrioni’s. After eating and drinking our way through copious amounts of crab, veal, pasta, wine and 4 different desserts, we went back to Buckingham Palace (as J refers to it) where I promptly crashed. (I actually crashed in the car, which I’m known for…)
The next morning we gathered round the breakfast table for eggs and waffles (Dad’s specialty), then J and I headed back to the airport for our 10:30 a.m. flight. We landed in Austin at 3:30, picked up the kids and made our way to the house. At this point, it was 5:45 and I had NO IDEA what we were going to do for dinner. J, very sweetly, said, “We could order a pizza and make it simple.”
Instead, I pulled out a magic trick and put this on the table 30 minutes later.
Impressed? So was I. Of course, having a well-stocked pantry does help – and like most pasta recipes, this one is infinitely adaptable to what you have on hand. I was trying to avoid a trip to the store (even though it’s only a mile away), so I used up various bits of vegetables that were in the fridge. Also, I added a teaspoon of crushed red pepper and a fair amount of parmigiano reggiano cheese.
Because cheese = happiness.
Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Sausage Breadcrumbs – adapted from Food and Wine
- 1/2 pound pasta (I used rigatoni, it’s what I had on hand)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup sliced red/orange peppers
- 1/2 pound loose pork sausage
- 1 cup panko
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts and sausage and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sausage is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the panko and cook until crisp, 3 minutes. Season with pepper. Drain the pasta. Top with the brussels sprout mixture, drizzle with olive oil and serve with lemon wedges.