Last night, I took a simple dish that I've made before (I can't remember if I posted it here?) and made a few tweaks. I switched the regular pasta to whole-wheat and the pork sausage to chicken sausage. I thought it had a great flavor. But it's all in the wine. I used to be one of those people who picked up whatever wine was cheap if I was just planning to cook with it. That was a mistake. Using a cheap wine (unless it's one that you know you enjoy) can break a meal especially when the flavors come through like with this recipe. I know it seems like such a waste to buy a good wine when you are throwing it in the pot/pan, but really, splurge a little on what you like. Then, plan on drinking the rest of the bottle. You won't regret it.
Healthier Pasta Ragu
8 oz. Whole-Wheat Fusilli Pasta
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp EVOO (e-v olive oil)
1 really small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 links of uncooked Italian Chicken Sausage, casings removed (I like the spicy variety)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup Parmesan, grated
Heat butter and oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil salted water and cook pasta according to directions. Save 1/2 cup of pasta water.
While the pasta is cooking, Add sausage to onion mixture and turn up the heat slightly. Break up the sausage with a spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring every so often.
Add the tomato paste to the meat and mix together. Add wine to deglaze pan and let reduce.
Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the pasta and reserved water. Last, toss with the cheese and fresh parsley before serving.