April 25, 2023
This Sausage Asparagus Pasta comes to the table in less than twenty minutes. That’s faster than ordering carryout. Take advantage of fresh asparagus at local farmer’s markets with this easy entree.
You’ve heard that pasta water makes a good sauce component. In this recipe, slightly cloudy pasta water contributes to the creamy mouth feel combined with the parmesan. No cream in sight. Not that cream is a negative, but I’m aiming for a light pasta dish that satisfies without excess dairy.
Loose sausage, in this case, Italian turkey, yields lots of little favor bombs when prodded with a wooden spoon. However, sausage in casings can be opened and either snipped with kitchen scissors or broken up in the pan extra vigorously. Pork sausage is easier to find at the supermarket and at the farm stands. If using the latter, you can decrease the olive oil because more fat is rendered. Turkey needs a little more oil for a tender texture.
Save a few ladles of pasta water when it turns cloudy and thickens, after at least five minutes. Correspondingly, try for pasta cut with bronze dies, much easier to find these days. The ragged texture allows sauce to lovingly stick to the pasta shapes, and the water will be more obligingly murky for sauce making.
My new favorite brown rice pasta is from Jovial. The farfalle used here has lots of places for sauce to adhere and a good hefty chew.
Here’s another easy vegetarian pasta dish with asparagus and a red sauce augmented with pasta water. Asparagus and Tomato Pesto Pasta relies on make ahead sun-dried tomato pesto.
Dinner in under twenty minutes is even easier if all is prepped ahead.
Sausage Asparagus Pasta
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes four servings
8 ounces pasta (I like Jovial brown rice farfalle)
extra virgin olive oil
1 pound loose turkey or pork Italian sausage *
2 large cloves garlic, zested on microplane grater
1 pound asparagus, diagonally sliced
2 tablespoons snipped chives
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese (more for garnish as desired)
* if sausage is in casings, remove casing and cut sausage into pieces with kitchen shears
- Bring water to boil in heavy two quart saucepan with large pinch of kosher salt.
- Add pasta, stir, and when comes to boil again, decrease heat to low and stir occasionally.
- After about 4-5 minutes when water appears cloudy, remove several ladles of water to use for sauce and set aside.
- While pasta cooks, heat large saute pan over medium high heat; when a drop of water skips and dances on the surface (this makes virtually any stainless steel pan nonstick), scatter sausage and olive oil.
- Use two tablespoons oil for turkey sausage, one for pork.
- Use wooden spoon to break up sausage into bits and cook until no longer pink.
- Stir in garlic and chives.
- After 10 seconds of stirring, scatter asparagus, turn off heat and cover pan to steam asparagus for several minutes until crisp-tender.
- When pasta is al dente, drain and add to sausage pan, add parmesan and just enough reserved pasta water to make sauce creamy.
- Serve immediately, with extra grated parmesan if desired.