i don’t know about you, but where i live, cottonwood trees are seeding, and it is not my favorite. the air is full of their little cottony spores, swirling, tickling, riding air currents and catching on my clothes. the soft seeds get trapped indoors, inside our cars, collect along shrubbery and swirl around our feet. the worst is when i go for a run along my favorite tree-lined street in town, enjoying the sunshine between cloud breaks, and suddenly one of those cottonwoods seeds aligns just right and is breathed up my nose. it’s awkward, like accidentally inhaling an insect, and suddenly i’m making snorting noises, trying to get it out. i’m sure i don’t look graceful to passersby. thanks a lot, cottonwood seeds!
anyway, if you’ve done something embarrassing today such as accidentally inhaling a weed, here is a recipe that will bring back your confidence. it’s really easy, but appears to everyone who is sitting down to dinner that you put a lot of work/love into it. but really, you only need to put in the love part. my husband’s words, on the night i served this as a quick and late dinner, were “oh wow babe! this is so fancy.”
the sliced bell peppers in this dish become like a colorful pasta of their own, while arugula and garlic bring their peppery and fragrant flavors. enjoy this fancy but easy dinner! and watch out for cottonwood seeds.
linguine with sausage, peppers and arugularecipe from Martha Stewart serves several (4 – 6)
- 1 lb linguine
- 1 lb pork or turkey italian sausage, casings removed
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 – 4 bell peppers, red, yellow or orange, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 TBSP butter or olive oil
- 3 cups baby arugula
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
cook linguine according to package directions. just before draining, reserve some pasta water (1 cup, or maybe a little more). return pasta to pot and set aside.
in the meantime, brown sausage in a large skillet. break up with a spoon as it cooks. now is usually when i drain any excess rendered fat from the cooked sausage, before moving on. (leave just a little in the skillet for cooking the peppers.) add the drained sausage to the pot with the pasta.
add garlic and bell peppers to skillet cook until peppers are softened — i like them still holding their shape, but beginning to sweeten. stir in some reserved pasta water if skillet gets too dry during cooking.
add the peppers to pot with sausage and linguine – – add butter or olive oil — and toss to combine, adding more pasta water as necessary (around 3/4 cup) to create a sauce that coats the pasta. finally, add arugula, season to taste with salt and pepper and toss.