I’ve got the end-of-weekend blues.
You know, when the weekend went too fast, was too busy, didn’t get anything done I should have, want to call in sick to work, blues.
Guess what works wonders in consoling end-of-weekend blues??
Copious amounts of pasta.
Copious amounts of fresh pasta, to be exact.
I don’t think there is anything in this entire world that I love more than handmade pasta; it’s just one of those things in life that I covet above anything else. Now that I have my new Cuisinart food processor, making fresh pasta is a breeze – thank you John and Kris Norris!
No more slowly incorporating the wet ingredients into a mound of flour, while simultaneously trying to keep the eggs from spilling onto the floor; no sticky, dough ridden fingers; and no more endless frustration. Hallelujah!
If you’re still skeptical about making your own pasta, or just don’t want to, no big deal, fresh pasta from the store will suffice just fine.
See recipe for homemade fettuccine, here.
This recipe was conceptualized based on one of my all-time beloved pasta dishes at one of my fav restaurants in suburbia KC, Yia Yia’s. Fresh linguini is tossed with roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach, then coated in a sweet vermouth butter sauce. It’s one of my favorite things to order because it fulfills my craving for pasta, but is also still somewhat light since it’s not bathed in a pool of cream sauce. At Yia Yia’s this dish is served with plump sautéed shrimp, but I opted to go with some turkey Italian sausage this time – if you prefer shrimp, go ahead and use that instead.
The sweet vermouth is really what makes this dish extra special, (of course, other than the fresh pasta) and is definitely worth an extra trip to the closest liquor store if you don’t have it on hand. I don’t know what it is, but the vermouth gives the sauce a flavor that just cannot be replicated with any other wine or liquor. It’s sweet, yet savory and so incredibly velvety to the palate – just heavenly…
If you make the pasta yourself, this is the perfect Sunday night leisurely dinner, but if you decide to make this on a weeknight, save yourself some time by buying store-bought pasta and make the roasted garlic the day before. Taking care of those two things before, make this a dish that can work any day of the week.
- 12 ounces of your favorite fresh fettuccini recipe, or 10 ounces dried (See link above for recipe)
- 2 links turkey Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot minced
- ½ cup sweet vermouth
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1½ cups roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 heads of roasted garlic (roasted garlic recipe below)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Boil a large stockpot filled with water. Cook pasta. Reserve some pasta water.
- In a large sauté pan, brown sausage with one tablespoon of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Remove from pan.
- In the same pan, add shallots, if there is no oil leftover add in a drizzle of evoo. Sauté until translucent. Add sweet vermouth, reduce by half, about two minutes. Whisk in butter, salt and red pepper flakes. Toss in pasta, tomatoes, roasted garlic, sausage and spinach until sauce has completed coated pasta strands. If needed, add a little bit of pasta water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Roasted Garlic: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut the very top off the head of garlic so flesh is showing just a little bit. Place garlic on a large piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold edges over and seal. Bake for 45 or until garlic is soft.