Spicy Italian pork sausage, flecked with fennel and chili flakes, is the key to this 1-2-3 pasta dish. Its multitude of flavors brings complexity to a rustic Italian meal.
|1 head radicchio||1 pound Italian pork sausage, casings removed|
|Kosher salt||Grated Grana Padano or Pecorino Romano cheese|
|8 ounces whole wheat pasta shells, rotiini, or penne||Freshly ground black pepper|
|1 tablespoon olive oil|
Core the radicchio and remove any wilted outer leaves. Slice the radicchio into thin strips and soak in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes to lessen its bitter flavor.
While the radicchio soaks, bring a 4-quart stockpot with water filled with water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
Heat the olive oil in a large, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat and add the sausage, crumbling gently with your hands to break up any large chunks. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sausage is well browned and nearly cooked through.
Drain the radicchio and add to the pan with the sausage. Cook for 5 minutes more to wilt the radicchio and form a loose pan sauce.
Add the drained pasta to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the pasta.
Serve with grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
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