David’s Orecchiette With Asparagus and Sausage

ORECCHIETTE WITH ASPARAGUS AND SAUSAGE

3 TBS OLIVE OIL
1 LB. HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE (BULK OR REMOVE CASINGS)
2 TBS MINCED SHALLOT (OR ONION)
3 CLOVES GARLIC MINCED
½ tsp KOSHER SALT
1 LB ASPARAGUS (ABOUT 15 MEDIUM STALKS, DISCARD WOODY ENDS)
1 LB  ORECCHIETTE PASTA
½ C. ITALIAN CROUTONS ROUGHLY CRUSHED INTO CRUNCHY BITS
½ C. ROMANO CHEESE GRATED

START A PASTA POT OF WATER WITH 2 TBS KOSHER SALT. WHILE POT HEATS AND COMES TO A BOIL*, ADD OLIVE OIL TO A LARGE SKILLET OR SAUTE PAN OVER MEDIUM HIGH HEAT. ADD SAUSAGE AND COOK TIL IT STARTS TO BROWN AND CRUMBLE. ADD SHALLOT OR ONION AND CONTINUE TO COOK TIL SHALLOT SOFTENS. ADD GARLIC AND CONTINUE TO COOK WHILE BREAKING DOWN CLUMPS OF SAUSAGE WITH A WOODEN SPOON OR WEAPON OF CHOICE. CUT ASPARAGUS INTO 1 TO 1 ½ INCH PIECES AND ADD TO SAUSAGE MIXTURE ALONG WITH A HALF TSP OF SALT AND  ½ C. OF THE PASTA WATER. AND COOK ABOUT 3 MINUTES. LOWER HEAT TO MEDIUM LOW AND ADD PASTA TO SAUSAGE MIXTURE AND TOSS. IF THE MIXTURE SEEMS A LITTLE TOO DRY,ADD A LITTLE MORE PASTA WATER.  ADD A LITTLE FRESH CRACKED PEPPER AND SERVE WITH CRUNCHY CROUTON BITS AND GRATED ROMANO CHEESE.

ENJOY!

*WHEN POT STARTS TO BOIL, COOK PASTA  AL DENTE ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS ON BOX.  SAVE A CUP OF THE PASTA WATER.

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