Not so long ago I was cruising around the word of Wordpess looking at all the different food blogs with personally posted recipes while Man vs Food on The Travel Channel created the perfect background noise. It was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening and tonight, I think I will share one of my own. A word of warning though, I am not the greatest cook. In fact, when I cook meatloaf it never loafs. So I just call it “meat’n stuff”. But I will say this dish I am sharing is pretty damn good.
So let’s begin. I just came back from the store and when I decide to cook this particular dish, I really look for the freshest stuff and even go as far as organic. Though, sometimes organic just means paying 2 bucks for an apple that tastes like it has been bobbed out of the toilet.
Here’s what to get:
- 3lbs of Italian sausage (I get hot but sweet works as well)
- 2lbs of broccoli
- 1.5lbs of bowtie pasta
- Small container of parmesan cheese
- Two packages of sliced mushrooms
- Whole garlic
- 2tbs of salt
- 2tbs of parsley
- 1tbs of garlic powder
Here we are browning the hot sausage. Whoohoo! Look at it go. Actually this dish requires multitasking so I brown it on medium high heat with a tablespoon of garlic powder added and drain every few minutes.
While the sausage is browning I dice up a few garlic cloves and place them in a medium sauce pan with extra virgin olive oil (E.V.O.O as Mega-Mouth says) and let it sizzle for a few minutes on high. I love this part because it smells up the whole house and people who don’t know better believe I am a great chef.
After the garlic permeates the air…and clothes, it’s time to add the mushrooms and cover them with a thin layer on E.V.O.O.. I usually add a tablespoon of salt and parsley but that is just me. I’ve learned in life that people are particular with their mushrooms and I would hate to upset the balance of nature pushing people to salt them unneccesarily. So, up to you.
Now that we have two items cooking a way I take the time to prep the broccoli. I basically chop it into florets and ditch any stem that is longer than a half inch. And I do so sing this:
After the meat is browned and the ‘shooms are all marinated in the EVOO and garlic, it’s time to combine the two!
Make sure to drain the meat but not the mushrooms. We need that juice to mix with the parmesan cheese later. I usually let these two mix on low heat and let it stand uncovered. Now lets boil some water and watch it!
You’re going to need about a pound and a half of bowtie pasta so this is how I eyeball it. Still, to this day, the art of boiling many types of noodles to that perfect consistency eludes me. This particular noodle, however, I have mastered. It takes 13 minutes.
I couldn’t find the bottom of my steam pan so I needed to get a little creative. This is me steaming the broccoli over the boiling noodle water in a plastic drainer. Not ideal but when broccoli needs to be steamed, you do what you have to.
So here we are. Everything is cooked and ready to be combined. All I need is a bigger pot but I guess I can use two. It’s nice to have enough to drop off to a busy friend or neighbor.
The last thing to do is to add a lot of parmesan. Remember how we kept all the mushroom sauce? Yeah, the cheese acts as sort of a corn starch and it creates an amazing garlic-y sauce that sets this dish apart. Behold, the glory of cooking for yourself for around $20. And it lasts for a long time.