Last Friday we had snow in Austin. A whole inch or so. The city shut down. Universities were closed, school was cancelled, and many offices shuttered their doors for the day. Granted, the roads were quite icy under that thin slick of snow. We had a guest in town so I didn't mind taking the day off... sleeping in a bit and then going for a snowy hike with the dog.
It was altogether a very pleasant day, which is nice because what came next was one of the worst days I have had in a long time. I had a fifteen hour stomach flu on Saturday and a baby somersaulting, punching, kicking, and rocking me from the inside (literally all day). I am finally able to eat somewhat normally, but my stomach is not back to it's old self. I fear it may not go back to it's old self - at least for the next few months of my pregnancy. I got heartburn for the first time (in my life!) Saturday night and I've gotten it every day since.
Needless to say I am craving PLAIN foods. Chicken and rice, bananas and peeled apples. Last night I cooked for the first time in a while, and I made something simple and delicious that I was able to eat a whole bowl of. I followed a recipe that I found over on Food 52, with a few modifications.
Spaghetti with Sausage and Broccolini
2 links mild Italian sausage (a little over 1/2 a pound)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 package of spaghetti
1 bunch broccolini, cut into 1 in. pieces
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (Again, I use a microplane so my grated cheese is much less dense than some store bought grated cheeses. I say do it to taste.)
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet until almost smoking. Squeeze sausage from casings into little pieces and brown on all sides in the hot oil. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and reduce heat. Drain some of the fat if necessary.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Add garlic to skillet and cook gently, make sure not to brown, just toast slightly. Add red pepper flakes, thyme and wine. Bring to a gentle boil and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce by about half to two thirds. Stir in chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce until dark and somewhat syrupy, about ten minutes. Turn heat to very low or off.
- Add a good amount of salt and the pasta to boiling water. When pasta is just about al dente toss in the broccolini. Cook for another minute, then remove pasta and broccolini from water with tongs/a pasta server/slotted spoon and add directly to the skillet. Heat the skillet over low-medium heat. Stir the pasta into the sauce, adding the butter, cheese, and splashes of the pasta water as needed to create a silky sauce (I used about 1/2 cup). Stir in sausage and taste for seasoning. Serve immediately with extra grated cheese and red pepper flakes.