Oh, do I love pasta! Love it. Crave it. Can’t live without it. I am Italian, afterall. As I get older I do notice it’s harder to keep the weight off, so I try not to overdue it with the pasta. I try to limit my intake to once a week. I also have switched to either multi grain pasta or whole wheat. These little fusilli are multi grain, and I’ll tell you that you can barely detect a difference at all. Whole wheat is a slightly different story. Certainly the pasta is a darker color but also the taste and texture are different and noticeable. And whole wheat pasta is more filling, as far as I’m concerned. Of course, you can make this dish with regular pasta as well, I’m just trying to keep things on the healthier side over here. When I want to make this super healthy I use turkey sausage, but let’s face it, there’s nothing like pork sausage.
I adapted this recipe from Giada and I have been making it for a few years now, so it is a staple, here to stay. Why? Because it’s easy to make, I keep most of the ingredients in my pantry at all times so it’s quick to throw together last minute and…it’s delicious!
Now, some of you might say that frozen artichokes are a bit on the pricey side. And you would be right. They are. But you know what? They are worth it. If you ever found yourself actually buying dozens of whole artichokes (what would be needed for this dish) and cleaning them to finally get down to that small heart in the middle, then I’m sure you would agree with me. SO worth it. Thank you Bird’s Eye for having frozen artichokes to make our lives so much simpler!
Here’s what you will need to serve 4…
1 cup (7 or 8 oz jar) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, sliced, 2 tablespoons of oil reserved
1 pound Italian hot & sweet sausages, casings removed
2 (9-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts, slice very large ones in half lengthwise
2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb box fusilli, multi grain or whole wheat
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1/3 cup (heaping) chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup (heaping) chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt & pepper
Heat the oil reserved from the tomatoes in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown, breaking up the meat into bite-size pieces with a spoon, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the artichokes to the same skillet and saute one minute. Add garlic and stir, cook for one minute. Add sun dried tomatoes, salt & pepper, saute one minute. Here’s how things should look right about now…
Now, add the broth and wine and boil over medium-high heat until the sauce reduces slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the fusilli in boiling water until tender but still firm, roughly 1-2 minutes short of directed cooking time on the box. With a large spider spoon remove all the pasta and add to the artichoke mixture. DO NOT throw away pasta water.
Add the pasta, sausage, 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, and parsley to the artichoke mixture, stir to combine well then turn off the flame. Toss until the sauce is almost absorbed by the pasta. Gradually add some pasta water to the pasta mixture 1/2 cup at a time, if needed. I usually add in almost one full cup of pasta water. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, if needed.
Just before serving I like to sprinkle just a touch of olive oil over the pasta and add some grated parmesan to each individual bowl.
Giada’s original recipe can be found here…