Last night after yet another potential roommate stood me up, I met up with Dude for dinner and some much needed laughs. Its been forever since I have seen him (for longer than 15 minutes at a time) and Otto is kinda one of our favorite spots (and he is like VIP there…im way jealous). It was definitely a great time and as we dined at the bar (with Frank, the Awesomest Bartender ever!), we spotted Mario Batali just sitting at the other end of the bar having a glass of wine.

Dude nonchalantly is like “Look, its Mario Batali” And i thank sweet baby cheeses because i usually make an ASS out of myself when i see celebs (believe it) but this time I just blushed and kind of quietly said “Oh Em Gee” and then kept eating like “yeah, im eating next to Batali. This is the norm…” [EDIT: I’ve been called out by “you totally downplayed your reaction to batali lmao” According to Dude, i freaked out for about 5 minutes and THEN i ate my pasta. I maintain that the excitement altered my memory…]

I wonder how you all put up with me.

Prior to my food fest at Otto, I had been craving some good ol’ italian comfort. And one of my favorite dishes there is the fusili con sausage and escarole. Its not rocket science but sometimes the simplest dishes are the ones that taste the best.

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Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium green bell pepper, sliced

1 lb of turkey sausage (casings removed)

1 medium head of escarole, roughly chopped into large pieces (they wilt)

salt

pepper

red pepper flakes

parmesan cheese

1 lb of penne (or pasta of your choice)

Method:

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until the onions are slightly clear. Add the sliced bell pepper and saute till crisp tender (about 7-10 minutes). Remove the peppers, onions and garlic from the pan and set aside.

Crumble in turkey sausage and cook through, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. (about 15 minutes). When the turkey sausage is cooked, return the peppers, onions and garlic to the saute pan.

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Add the escarole little by little to the saute pan. As it cooks, the escarole will wilt down and believe me, an entire head of escarole will fit!

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Season with salt and pepper (to taste) and a tiny shake of some red pepper flakes. A little goes a long way!

Allow the turkey sausage and escarole to simmer on the lowest setting while you prepare the penne. I boiled the penne for 7 minutes (i like it al dente), drained, reserving a 1/2 cup of pasta water to add to the turkey sausage and escarole.

I tossed the pasta with with escarole and sausage with a healthy sprinkling (ie a big one) of parmesan cheese.

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Its so simple. But yet, this dish makes me feel all cozy inside. Its no fancy plate from Otto’s but its a nice dish to make at home- and in no time at all!

I gotta go, i am still reeling from my insane facebook thread about NKOTBSB… dont judge. LOL

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