Most of the time I make pasta, it’s an attempt to use up various veggies or meat or other things in my fridge or freezer that need to be used. Because of that, although I use the same basic formula, I end up with a different result each time. With that in mind, I’ll give you the basic steps and suggestions of things to add along the way, along with what I did for this particular dish.
I had purchased quite a few items at last week’s farmers market, which I wanted to use quickly to make room for more items this weekend. What better way than pasta? Especially since I wanted to participate in this week’s Presto Pasta Night event, I’d be able to kill two birds with one stone! Check the link for the roundup every Friday.
I cut up some asparagus, ramps, green garlic as my aromatics, and set them sauteeing in a touch of olive oil. Meanwhile, I chopped up some lardons (double smoked bacon) and took out a pound of Italian sausage, and added both to the veggies to brown. Once brown, I drained the fat, and deglazed the pan with about a cup of white wine, and added enough cream to make the dish creamy, but not swimming in sauce. I allowed the wine-cream mixture to heat up to steaming, and then added enough grated Parmesan cheese to make an alfredo sauce (it will thicken as the cheese melts). I had meant to wilt some spinach into the mix, but completely forgot. I tossed the mixture with some already cooked multi-colored strozzapretti pasta. The result? A creamy, cheesy garlicky pasta dish redolent with yummy fresh seasonal veggies and chunks of sausage.
It’s pretty much the same formula for any type of pasta – you can use whatever meats you like, whatever veggies and aromatics, whatever cheese, whatever you want to deglaze (wine, balsamic, cream, broth, you choose), whatever kind of cheese you want. My best advice is to experiment and taste as you go along. The final product might not always be pretty or photogenic, but it will probably taste great!