Last Sunday night, we returned late to the city after a stay at the Mohonk Mountain House. It was an unprecedented vacation for the Stay at Stove Dad family, and it was most welcome. The Mohonk House is a Victorian monument of long hallways, crenelated cornices, and plush duvets situated on a skinny lake in the Shawagunk Mountains of upstate New York. It’s an all-inclusive resort, with an ice skating rink, a swimming pool, game room, miles of hiking trails, and—most importantly—a dining room where the amount of work you do is in inverse proportion to the quantity of food they serve. It's like a cruise ship that's been marooned at the edge of the Catskill Mountains, or a high-end Las Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet lodged in the wilderness.
After three days of nothing but leisure, we found ourselves back home at dinnertime, with bags to unpack and school and work to prepare for. It was time for me get my toque back on. And so I did. I made a variation of a classic pasta standby, that one with broccoli that's always easy to make. I added a bit of kick by chopping up some Niman Ranch Spicy Italian sausage, and between the rich flavor of the sausage and the healthy base of the broccoli, it was the perfect way to reenter life after such a fine time away.
Niman Ranch Spicy Sausage Broccoli Pasta
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 head broccoli, washed and cut into florets
- 1-2 links of Niman Ranch Spicy Italian Uncured Sausage sausage, diced into small pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1/2 cup or more of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Spaghetti or past of choice
Put water on to boil for the pasta.
Cook the pasta to within about a minute of being finished (a little white inside is perfect) reserving the cooking liquid.
Steam the broccoli until it is tender but firm; set aside.
In a bit of olive oil in a large pan sauté the onions until they are translucent, at least ten minutes. Remove and set aside when they are done.
In the same pan, saute the sausage pieces until crisp.
Once the sausage is crisp, add the garlic and the onions to the same pan.
Once the garlic is soft, add the broccoli, and a bit of the pasta water.
Add the pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is finished, about a minute longer (add more water if it starts to stick).
Turn the heat off and finish with the cheese. There should only be a bit of liquid, and the strands of pasta and the broccoli and the sausage should all be coated with it nicely.