Pasta is one of those dishes that can be exciting and so satisfying, yet very simple and quick to prepare.
I came up with this dish, because I happened to have lamb sausage in my freezer that needed using after making my Lamb Sausage and Dried Fig Farro. The addition of fresno chilies was actually inspired by a pasta dish I watched Mario Batali make on The Chew. I am by no means a talk show person, but happen to absolutely love that show.
Anyway, back to the pasta. The combination of flavors works really, really well here. The savory sausage, spicy chilies and fruity, castelvetrano olives play off each other perfectly. If you can’t handle the heat, simply omit the chilies or substitute them with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
You can’t forget the cheese, of course. I used grana padano, which is very similar to parmesan cheese. For freshness, I tossed in some parsley and voila, we have an amazing pasta dish here!
- ½ lb strozzapreti pasta, or pasta of choice
- 2T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 8oz Italian lamb sausage, removed from casing, or ground lamb*
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 fresno chilies, thinly sliced
- ¼ C castelvetrano olives, pitted, roughly chopped
- ¼ C grana padano or parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- 1/3 C parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving one cup of cooking water.
While the pasta cooks, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add sausage, breaking up in the pan, and cook 6-8 minutes or until well-browned.
Reduce heat to medium. Stir garlic into sausage and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in chilies and olives. Toss pasta in sausage mixture. Stir in cheese with a splash of reserved pasta water, or more as needed. Sauté about 2-3 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Toss in parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. For serving, drizzle with oil and serve with cheese. Enjoy.
*NOTE: If using ground lamb, season generously with salt and pepper while browning in pan.