Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Creamy Goat Cheese, Sausage, and Broccolini Pasta

Date night happens once a week in our house. A date could be a cheese and wine picnic, casual burgers and a beer out, or the occasional all out four course beer paired dinner at one of our favorite haunts. Yes, date night always involves food. Sometime it involves a film about outdoor adventures, a beer festival, or a game of air hockey but always food, food, glorious food.

A recent date night took place at an Italian restaurant, where I enjoyed the dish that inspired this pasta. Who's to say we can't take date night home? We can. Light the candles and pull out the good wine. You too can make some pretty delicious food right in your home. Replicating this wonderful pasta dish was my way of bringing date night to our house.

 Pasta is the most satisfying food on this planet in my opinion. This pasta is creamy and delicious without feeling overly heavy. Italian sausage gives it a little spice and the tomatoes and white wine give it a nice brightness. The whole dish will take you 30 minutes start to finish.

Creamy goat cheese, sausage, and broccolini pasta
Serves 4

3/4 pound penne, cook according to pasta directions
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch of broccolini (about 3/4 pound), cut each individual floret leaving about 1/2" of the stem
1/2 cup white wine
3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
2.5 ounces goat cheese (half a round log)
1 pound pre-cooked spicy italian sausage, slice into 1/2" rounds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil for the pasta and add the salt. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions start to caramelize slightly, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broccolini and cook another 5-7 minutes. Pour in the white wine and increase heat to bring wine to a gentle simmer. Cook until the wine has reduced by about half. Add the tomatoes, goat cheese, and sausage. Cook until the tomatoes become slightly wrinkled, 2-3 minutes. Add the oregano, salt, pepper, and pasta. Stir until the pasta has warmed and serve.

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