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Cooking Cordiale - Cavatelli With Sausage And Pine Nuts

I suppose it’s primal - making heavier foods when it’s colder outside. I’m not sure about you, but when it’s 19 degrees, I definitely tend toward the heartier (As the Italians say, more cordiale) dishes.

I made this for a potluck with friends last week, and it certainly did stick to the ribs.


4 ounces Cavatelli pasta

1/4 cup or more pine nuts

2 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed

1 Tablespoon butter

1/2 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced

3 cloves raw garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups spinach, chopped roughly

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup Mascarpone cheese (soft cream cheese if you must)

Salt & pepper

A block of Parmesan cheese


Toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat in a dry pan and set aside. Watch them - they burn quickly!

Start cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the box.

Melt butter in large skillet. Add onion and lightly season with salt.

Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until onions are golden. Add oil and sliced garlic, and cook until golden on both sides.

Break up sausage into small pieces, and brown sausage in pan over medium heat.

Add spinach and red pepper flakes if using.

When sausage is almost browned through, add the drained pasta.

Add Mascarpone and broth to pan. Reduce heat to low, and cook until everything is incorporated.

Add pine nuts, salt and black pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Shave some Parmesan cheese over the top, and perhaps add a few more red pepper flakes if you like things spicy.

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