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
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).