Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mild Island Ziti


A frequent complaint heard from the mouth of 3 year olds around here is that dinner is "too spicy," even if said spice is Italian.  So, I toned this down substantially; I used mild Italian sausage and barely any crushed red pepper.

Alas, said 3 year old was loaded up on St Patrick's Day treats from school, and barely ate his meal.  M and I really liked ours, though I'd have preferred a little bit more spice.  I thought it would be very similar to a meal I used to make frequently, Broccoli and Sausage Cavatelli from allrecipes, but it wasn't at all.  This is a very light and almost summery dish, while the allrecipes version I remember being much heavier and wintery.

The 10 month old really enjoyed his too, though the broccoli went on the floor (his frequent complaint is throwing stuff he doesn't like on the floor.  Or when he's done, it goes on the floor.  It's nice).

Next time, I think I will just remove the casings and break up the sausage.  The casings were just gross to me, and while I prefer the sliced sausage, I couldn't slice it properly; don't know what I did wrong there.

This came from Taste of Home Magazine, by way of A Taste of Home Cooking.  Since the only fresh tomatoes in the house are grape tomatoes, I appreciated Sarah's substitution of canned diced tomatoes.  I also made a few minor modifications to meet our (garlic loving) needs.

Fire Island Ziti
Modified from Taste of Home, via A Taste of Home Cooking

1 15oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt (omitted)
8 ounces uncooked ziti (I used a 12oz box of whole wheat)
2 broccoli crowns cut into florets (I used one head and half a bag of frozen)
1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cook ziti according to package directions, adding broccoli during the last 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering.  Heat garlic until it "speaks," then cook sausage in oil until no longer pink. Add pepper flakes; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes with the juice; simmer until the sauciness you like (I like it saaaucy!).

Drain ziti mixture; toss with sausage mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.  Serve hot.

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