The most demanding semester of my grad school voyage so far is finally over. Just in time for summer classes to start next week. Cool. Great. I’m doing fine, really. I’m FINE.
Anyway, what better way to deal with stress other than with CARBS? That was a trick question; there is no better way. So, I bring to you a garlic-y, tomato-y pasta dish that is made with things you probably already have in your fridge/pantry. AND!!! If you live alone like I do, this will last you all week for dinners and lunches so that you don’t have to do any extra work! You’re welcome.
Here’s what you’ll need for 6-8 servings:
- 1 box of Cavatelli (feel free to use whatever pasta you have on hand)
- 2 packages meatless Italian sausage (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 cup starchy water reserved from cooking the pasta
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Set a large stock pot with water to boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, set a large pan over medium heat with some olive oil. Slice your vegetarian sausage links in half, length-wise, and brown them (3-5 minutes per side). Once they’re browned, remove them from the pan, cut them up into half-moon pieces, and set aside.
To begin making the sauce, add the garlic and halved tomatoes to your pan with some more olive oil. Sautee for 2-3 minutes and then add the oregano and some salt & pepper. Stir to combine, and add the vegetable stock. Increase the heat to medium-high, until the vegetable stock begins to boil. Keep the temperature up for about 3 minutes, then drop the heat to low and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the stock reduces roughly by half.
While your sauce is beginning to simmer, your pasta water should be boiling. Generously the salt the water and drop your pasta in. Cook for 7-8 minutes for al-dente; cook longer for a softer texture.
As the sauce is reducing, your tomatoes should be breaking down a bit. Use the back of a wooden spoon to crush some of the tomatoes to release their liquid into the sauce
Right before your pasta is done, reserve about a cup of the starchy cooking liquid. Add this to your sauce and continue to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Drain your pasta, turn the heat off under the sauce, and add your pasta to the pan to combine it with the sauce. Add your sausage pieces to the pasta and stir to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper if desired.
If you have it, chop up some flat-leaf parsley and add it to the dish for a nice, bright finish. Basil would work deliciously as well.