I don't know about all of you, but when the temperatures drop and it starts to rain white crap from the sky, I personally can dispense with the salads. I love gazpacho as much as the next girl (assuming the next girl REALLY loves gazpacho), but wintertime, especially wintertime here in Struggledelphia, the not-quite-Northeast, means substance. It means style. Hell, I'll say it, it means pasta.
Remember those few awkward years (not that that narrows it down) when everyone was all about carbs being the devil? First of all, the Devil is the Devil, people, stop trying to make the Devil into bedbugs or reality television stars or Christine O'Donnell (though obviously that last one is some kind of minor minion, a sub-demon, perhaps, something along those lines). He is that he is, folks, he's not hiding in your bagel. So I don't care if this causes a group of priests to come down on me like a load of bricks, exorcise all you want, folks, I'm eating pasta. And I'm eating in all sorts of different ways. Why? Because it's filling. Because it's delicious. And because if animals can get all fatty-no-friends and store up winter fat then, by God, so can I.
Considering that the horribly cruel local news stations had spent the weekend predicting doom and gloom and more snow then a cocaine dealer would know how to handle, I thought it prudent on Monday evening to whip up a dish that would give me the warm fuzzy feeling of carbohydrates, the solid strength of protein and the mildly superior sensation of having eaten something vaguely healthy. A tall order, perhaps, but it's all in a day's struggle:
Orecchiette with Spinach, Peppers and Sausage:
Enough dry Orecchiette for four people (depending on your appetites and pasta needs)
4 turkey sausages (or pork, should you not be a chosen person)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 red peppers, diced
1 large bag of spinach (about 6 cups)
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, heat up olive oil under medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Cook sausages until almost completely cooked through and browned. Remove sausages from the pan, set aside to cool. Maintaining a medium heat, add the minced garlic to the pan, and saute for one minute. Add the diced peppers, saute together for several minutes while pepper starts to soften. Slice sausage into long diagonal slices about 1/4 of an inch thick each. Add sausages to the saucepan, then add washed spinach and salt and pepper (according to your tastes/sodium requirements). Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low, allowing the spinach to wilt and cook and the flavors to meld. Add pasta to water once the water is boiling, and cook according to the package directions. Remove pasta from heat when it is still al dente. Spoon sauce over the pasta, and serve with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy the sweet sensation of added layers of lipids insulating your winter-prepared body. Not everyone does.