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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pasta with Bella Mushrooms, Carmelized Onions, Brussell Sprouts and Goat Cheese

The ingredients for this dish resulted from emptying out my vegetable drawer in my refrigerator!  What this means is you can improvise with whatever you find in your refrigerator if you would like.  I had a Vidalia onion and decided to caramelize it for a change.  I had a box of Bella mushrooms which are my favorites because they have a really nice flavor and crunchiness.   I had a bag of brussel sprouts that I decided to steam instead of going with the usual spinach.  The combination of these three ingredients alone was amazing, and when I added the goat cheese and sausage?  Delicious!  I am getting ahead of myself....let me give you the list of ingredients first:

Vidalia onion
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
brussel sprouts
sweet Italian sausage
fresh parsley
goat cheese
Parmesan cheese

First off, I put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.  I have two boxes half full of pasta that I decide to use up.  Once they are cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before dumping the rest.   Keep the pasta warm while you get everything else ready.

Next up I caramelize the onion.  Cut up the onion into wedges and combine with about 2 tablespoons of butter and two passes over the pan with olive oil.  Sprinkle the onions with the sugar and saute over medium high heat.

Cook the onions until they get a nice brown color.  When done, set aside.  Use the same pan to cook the mushrooms.

The mushrooms don't take that long to cook, so as soon as they are done, set aside and move on to the brussel sprouts.  I cut the bottoms off and remove as many leaves as possible.   I slice up what ever is left over.  I will steam these until they are tender.

Combine the onions, mushrooms, brussel sprouts and a handful of fresh parsley that has been chopped.

The last ingredient to cook is the sausage.  Remove the casings, break up, and cook.  Drain the fat and combine with the cooked vegetables and pasta.

Time to mix in the goat cheese and pour in about 1/2 of the pasta water.  Feel free to add more if needed.

At this point, add your Parmesan cheese and take a taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.  I like to add some crushed red pepper to give it a little heat.

This is one of those "comfort dinners" that simply puts a smile on your face.  It was really delicious the next day for lunch too!

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