Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto and Sausage

Awhile back my youngest was asking me if I could just make “regular” spaghetti. I can’t remember what it was I was making that night that caused her to ask about it but it was cute. So a few days later I made this, which was spaghetti, just not “regular”. Interestingly enough, she never said anything about it. And ate this with minimal complaints. In fact both girls did which was a small surprise. I figured they would eat it but they might complain about it. But not really. Score one for making them eat lots of different foods. 

As for putting this together I only made one change to the recipe below. I chose to use a 12 ounce package of Johnsonville Apple Chicken sausage (diced) rather than 3 ounces of a spicy italian sausage. Mainly, I chose that route as I wasn’t going to use a spicy sausage to begin with, I had the package of chicken sausage in the freezer and using 3 ounces of anything probably means you aren’t using the whole package. Which means you have to find more uses for it later. Which is fine, but sometimes it is just easier to use it all at once.

Using a pre-cooked sausage made me make a slight adjustment to how it all came together. I did put the diced sausage in the pan and let it “cook” for a little bit but when I removed it there wasn’t really any drippings to cook the garlic in so I had to add a little extra oil. 

This was decent. I don’t know that it will make my list of favorite dishes or things to make over and over again but it was pretty good. 

Recipe taken from the August 2013 issue of Cooking Light magazine

  • 8 ounces of uncooked spaghetti
  • 3 ounces spicy pork Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 5 cups, flat leaf parsley leaves, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot. Add pasta and cook 8 minutes or until almost al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid (I scooped it out before draining the pasta). 

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage; saute 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from the pan, reserve drippings. Drain sausage on paper towels. Add garlic to the pan; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid; bring to a boil, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pasta to pan; cook 1 minute, tossing to combine. Remove from heat. 

Combine 2 tablespoons of cheese and 4 3/4 cups of parsley leaves in a food processor; process until finely ground. With motor running, add remaining 1/4 cup cooking liquid and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process until smooth. Add parsley mixture and salt to the pasta. Toss well to coat. 

Divide pasta into bowls. Top with sausage, remaining parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 cup parsley leaves (left those out of the final product). 

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