Thursday, April 04, 2013

Creamy Pasta with Fennel, Kale and Chicken Sausage

I’m feeling pretty behind on life these days. Last week, my sister and her family moved halfway across the country to Chicagoland, which is awesome, but also meant we spent a lot of time hauling boxes and getting them settled in their new apartment. Then on Saturday, I ended up with a cold that got worse, then better, then worse again yesterday, and now, (I’m hopeful) better. Factor in wanting to spend extra time with the babe during holiday weekend, and cooking, eating right, and generally taking care of myself fell by the wayside, to say the least. We ordered take out every single night last week.

Instead of making the time for a grocery trip, I decided to order a box of produce from Door to Door Organics. I’ve tried this once or twice before, but now as I struggle to find a balance between taking care of Emme and taking care of myself, I’m wondering if this isn’t one of many answers to the perpetual question, 'how do we save more time.'

The box arrived yesterday, and there is a ton of produce--kind of an oh-shit-how-are-we-going-to-use-all-this amount of produce.

This is maybe half of it.
So, I got started right away. While I had been trying to eating more protein, right now, I need to just focus on eating at home, so I’m doing whatever I need to do to make that happen. And often, that means pasta.

Creamy Pasta with Fennel, Kale and Chicken Sausage
Adapted from a Door to Door Organics Recipe
Serving: 1

2 oz. whole wheat pasta
1/2 TBSP butter
Half a fennel bulb, sliced thin
Half a yellow onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup kale, chopped
1/2 TBSP orange zest
Juice of half an orange
1 link Trader Joe’s chicken sausage (any variety), chopped
1 oz. goat cheese
2 TBSP parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package direction, drain and reserve approximately 1/2 cup of pasta water.

2. In a saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and fennel and saute for 7-10 minutes until soft. Add kale after 2-3 minutes. Add chicken sausage after 5 minutes. (Note: Trader Joe's chicken sausage is already cooked and therefore needs only a few minutes to heat through. If you're using uncooked sausage, you'll want to remove it from the casings, saute it first, then remove it with a slotted spoon before adding the vegetables to the pan).

3. Add orange zest and the juice of half of an orange. Saute for one additional minute

4. Add 2-4 TBSP of pasta water, goat cheese, paremesan cheese, and pasta to the saute pan and mix with sausage and vegetables.

This was quick and easy and made me feel like I was getting way more nutritients than the typical pasta + bottled sauce combination. The sausage also helped make it really filling. Goat cheese is my favorite, and adding it and pasta water created a creamy sauce with a hint of orange. I will definitely be making this again. Probably tonight.