We’ve had a lot going on around here lately. I desperately want a day in the kitchen where I can spend several hours preparing a complicated dish – something new and exciting. A nice slow day with little or nothing to do. This is not that day. Nor do I see that day coming around too soon. (Insert deep breath and sad sigh here) Instead, I have to settle for thrown together meals like this – roasted vegetables and sausage with orecchiette. I say settle like it’s a bad thing, but it’s not. This thrown together meal is really quite tasty. Plus, you literally throw everything (minus the pasta) into a pan and while it roasts in the oven, the vegetables and sausage make their own sauce. It’s kind of amazing and almost too easy.
This dish involves a good bit of chopping. My sous chef for the day helped make fast work of the prep. Garrett’s quite eager to help out any time sharp knives are involved. Fortunately, he’s got some pretty good knife skills and we haven’t had to pull out the first aid kit just yet.
Loads of veggies are required – grape tomatoes, zucchini and cremini mushrooms. This is a great year round kind of dish. I like to make this meal in the summer with spoils from John’s garden. (I could call it our garden, but John’s the only one with green thumbs.) I’ve used all sorts of vegetables to make this dish. Eggplant and bell peppers make a nice addition and/or substitution, but the tomatoes are a must.
Toss the veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried basil. No extra bowls necessary. This is a quick meal with an equally quick clean up.
Next comes the sausage. I purchased bulk Italian sausage and dropped half inch pieces on top of the vegetables. You can also use sausage in the casing. In lieu of removing the casing, use kitchen shears to cut the sausage into half inch discs.
30 minutes in the oven and the sausage is browned, the veggies are roasted and all the juices have mixed together to make a delectable sauce. All you need is pasta.
I’ve used orecchiete, one of my favorite types of pasta. They’re like little bowls that soak up bits and pieces of sausage, sauce and vegetables. A bowl full of little bowls. This dish is great with a little extra heat, so I like to top it off with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Shaved parmesan takes it over the top. So fast. So easy. So yummy.
- 12 oz orecchiette pasta
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 large zucchinis, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 12 oz sweet italian sausage
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t ground pepper
- 1 t dried basil
- red pepper flakes
- shaved parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place all the cut up vegetables in a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
- Add 1/2 iinch pieces of sausage to the top of the vegetables.
- Place pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- While vegetables are roasting, prepare orecchiette according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Toss with roasted vegetables, sausage and any liquid left in the pan. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with shaved parmesan and red pepper flakes.