Friday, February 10, 2012

Spreading the Love with Pasta

orecchiette with Italian sausage, broccoli, and parmesan recipe

So I have been a procrastinator.  I have received not one, but three Liebster awards.  I'm so grateful for these awards.  And my slow response definitely does not at all reflect how flattered I was that K&K Test Kitchen received these awards.  So, from the bottom of my heart thank you so much!  And my dear readers, please go check out these amazing ladies!

Kayla at Small Town Life
Meg @ Sweet Twist
Anna from Scandinavian Cottage

About the Liebster: the Liebster Award is a chain letter among bloggers that’s intended to showcase talented up-and-coming blogs (typically, those with 200 or fewer followers). It is based on the recognition that a peer has noticed and appreciated your hard work.

The rules for accepting the Liebster Blog Award are:
  • Thank your Liebster Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award.
  • Copy and paste the blog award to your own page.
  • Award the Liebster to five deserving blogs, like yours, that have 200 followers or less and that deserve recognition.
  • Leave a comment on each blog to notify the awardees and let them know the rules for bestowing the Liebster Award to other bloggers.
I'm supposed to pass it on, but if I could give the award back, I would, because all three of them have wonderful, award-worthy blogs.  But, luckily there are a lot of truly amazing bloggers out there!  I even branched out and picked two non-food blogs.  So here are my picks:

- Miss Delish - Miss Delish sent me some seriously delish Red Velvet Peppermint Whoopie Pies as part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  She's been posting some yummy things lately too and she is doing a super cool giveaway right now!

- Mis-Cakes Oven Adventures - Another new blog via the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  I love seeing what's going on in her kitchen via Instagram - always lots of chocolate and sweets!

- Life on Food - Emily is super sweet and shares a lot of delicious recipes!

Not Just Happenstance - I found her via Fabulous K, who asked a bunch of readers to share their blog urls in order to promote making new friends in the blogosphere.  She has great style and awesome Pinterest boards!

- Fancy Things - Another awesome blog found via Fabulous K, Kristin shares pretty, and yes fancy things on her blog.  And I seriously covet her nail polish collection.

Since we are getting close to Valentine's Day, let's imagine the Liebster is a virtual Valentine to some amazing bloggers.  And because I can't leave you guys hungry this weekend, here is a quick and delicious dinner idea (maybe surprise your Valentine with a home cooked meal?).  This pasta is perfection - little orecchiette, Italian sausage, and broccoli, with a hint of spiciness.  The recipe comes from a gift my Grandma got me for Christmas that I'm absolutely obsessed with - the textbook for the Culinary Institute of America, "The Professional Chef."

Orecchiette with Italian Sausage, Broccoli, and Parmesan
From "The Professional Chef"

2 heads of broccoli (use broccoli rabe if you can find it though!!)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound lean Italian sausage, casing removed
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 cup Tomato Sauce
1 pound Orecchiette pasta
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon minced chives
Grated Parmesan

Clean the broccoli.  Steam the broccoli over boiling water, until about 90 percent cooked (about 4 minutes).  Remove and shock in ice water.  Drain well and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the sausage, and cook until nearly cooked through, crumbling the sausage.  Add the onions and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce.  Let the mixture cook about 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes depending on the pasta.  Remove from the water and drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat with the remaining oil.  Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, stock (or water) and sausage / tomato mixture.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine.  Add the parsley, basil, oregano, chives, and broccoli.  Add the pasta and some Parmesan.

Garnish with more Parmesan and serve.

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