Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Frugal Gourmet

In honor of my post on Monday about how to be cheap, I present to you a frugal dinner for one:  Sausage With Pasta and Arugula.  At about $3.50 per serving, it is perfect for low cash days, weeks (or months, depending on your situation).  Although frankly, to me it feels a little luxurious, in the way that a night in on your own can be...watching whatever weird foreign movie you have from Netflix, eating whatever odd thing you want for dinner, going to bed early (or late!), whatever you feel like.  Heaven.  As is the pork fat and carb fest that is this dish.

I'm not entirely sure where this dish came from...I can only surmise that it arose purely because when I lived in Philadelphia, my path from school to my apartment was not too far from Di Bruno Brothers, where I could pick up a really nice Italian sausage and some good quality pasta, and Sue's Produce, which sold giant bags of baby arugula for $2.  And of course from the fact that I always kept a supply of wine handy at home.

Sausage With Pasta and Arugula

Serves 1

3 oz pasta (I like orecchiette because the little cups hold the pork fat nicely, but penne would be good too) 
1 tablespoon olive oil or pork fat
1 sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves (smashed and peeled, or if you are feeling ambitious, peeled and sliced thin)
1/3 cup white wine (this absolutely must be at least semi-drinkable, otherwise the whole thing will taste off)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups baby arugula (or however much suits you, I like a lot)

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and salt heavily.  Drop pasta in.

Warm olive oil or pork fat in small skillet (making this was a perfect excuse for me to use my leftover pork fat from my pig experience, but olive oil is perfectly fine).  Take sausage out of casing and put in fat to brown.  Break up meat with the side of a wooden spoon or spatula.  

When meat is browned, throw in garlic, and fry for 30 seconds.  Add wine and salt, and simmer until mixture is reduced by half.

When pasta is about a minute away from being done, drain, and add to skillet and allow to finish cooking in the wine and fat.

When pasta is cooked, add arugula.  

Toss it through the pasta until wilted.  Eat, with parmesan cheese or without (I prefer without, which is odd for me, go figure).


Ulla said...

that looks so good! i love it with brocoli rabe too")

Laura [What I Like] said...

Oh nice idea...that would be good!

Leigh said...

Thank you!! yum and I am going to definitely try it this weekend.


annechovie said...

This looks completely delicious! Thank you - I will have to try it.

Joyce said...

This looks great! I'm hungry now!

ALL THE BEST said...


pve design said...

I feel as though I should leave a comment in Italian-

Kearney said...

So was thinking about this all week and finally tried it last night. Result: a huge yummy success with minimal cook time (key in my world). I substituted conch shell pasta because couldn't find the orrechi-macallits anywhere but it seemed to work out. Keep the quick & easy recipes coming Laura ;)

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