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Date Night Pasta

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Valentines Day is coming… and if you want a restaurant-worthy dinner you can make from home, try this ‘Date Night’ Pasta!

I created this simple recipe about six or seven years ago in a season when my husband and I were eating out a LOT… and in an effort to save money, we decided to do more date nights at home. I’ve added to it over the years, with the addition of shallot, and a lot more parmesan 😉… and it just keeps getting better!

The beauty of this recipe is it feels like something you’d get at a restaurant- for half the price and surprisingly little effort!

The homemade breadcrumbs are a must… trust!

Date Night Pappardelle with Sausage
Serves 2

6-8 oz pappardelle (linguine will also work!)
1 tbsp olive oil, more as needed
1 medium shallot, sliced thin
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (measure with your heart!)
2 Italian sausages, casings removed and crumbled (use 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms to make it meatless- I prefer baby Bella or shitake)
2 cups baby spinach or arugula
zest and juice of 1/2 large or 1 small lemon (keep separate)
1/2 cup (heaping) fresh grated parmesan cheese (more to top)
1/2-3/4 cup pasta water reserved from cooking
sea salt as needed

Homemade breadcrumbs to top (see below)

  1. Cook pasta in generously salted water according to package directions- reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large saute pan to medium-high. Add crumbled sausage or mushrooms and cook until no longer pink (or browned, if pre-cooked).
  3. Remove sausage from pan, turn heat to medium and add shallot. Cook until translucent (don’t burn!). Stir in garlic for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Once garlic is starting to turn translucent, stir in greens, season lightly and cook until just wilted (this will take thirty seconds at most!).
  5. Add lemon juice to pan and use to deglaze any stuck bits.
  6. Add pasta along with 1/2 cup pasta water, sausage, parmesan and lemon zest. Toss well.
  7. Add more pasta water as needed to create a sauce.
  8. Season to taste and serve with homemade herbed breadcrumbs and extra grated parmesan on top.

Homemade Breadcrumbs (don’t skip these!):
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (about 1 large slice of bread, pulsed in a food processor or blender)
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Big pinch sea salt

  1. Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low.
  2. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic powder and salt and stir.
  3. Cook until toasted.

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Date Night Pasta


Ingredients

Scale

68 oz pappardelle (linguine will also work!)
1 tbsp olive oil, more as needed
1 medium shallot, sliced thin
34 cloves garlic, minced (measure with your heart!)
2 Italian sausages, casings removed and crumbled (use 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms to make it meatless- I prefer baby Bella or shitake)
2 cups baby spinach or arugula
zest and juice of 1/2 large or 1 small lemon (keep separate)
1/2 cup (heaping) fresh grated parmesan cheese (more to top)
1/2-3/4 cup pasta water reserved from cooking
sea salt as needed

Homemade breadcrumbs to top (see below)


Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in generously salted water according to package directions- reserving 1 cup pasta water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large saute pan to medium-high. Add crumbled sausage or mushrooms and cook until no longer pink (or browned, if pre-cooked).
  3. Remove sausage from pan, turn heat to medium and add shallot. Cook until translucent (don’t burn!). Stir in garlic for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Once garlic is starting to turn translucent, stir in greens, season lightly and cook until just wilted (this will take thirty seconds at most!).
  5. Add lemon juice to pan and use to deglaze any stuck bits.
  6. Add pasta along with 1/2 cup pasta water, sausage, parmesan and lemon zest. Toss well.
  7. Add more pasta water as needed to create a sauce.
  8. Season to taste and serve with homemade herbed breadcrumbs and extra grated parmesan on top.

 

Homemade Breadcrumbs (don’t skip these!):
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (about 1 large slice of bread, pulsed in a food processor or blender)
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Big pinch sea salt

  1. Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low.
  2. Add breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic powder and salt and stir.
  3. Cook until toasted.

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