My head is filled with random thoughts today. Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of Autumn? Since it’s getting cooler out, I’m going to try to hunt down some mums this weekend. I don’t have the best green thumb, but why not try some out on the balcony. It’s not a very big space. Only a couple of wooden plant boxes. One has dead, dried up flowers from last spring, and the other one has a plant that actually survived the heat of summer. I even tried to grow basil and parsley, but the birds loved them way too much. No luck there. Sigh.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is check out the farmer’s market at Union Square. If you’re ever in NYC, it’s a fun thing to do on a Saturday. Union Square is filled with local farmers and vendors. You can find anything from fresh produce and flowers to artwork and handcrafted jewelry. There’s nothing like going on a cool, crisp day and having a cup of homemade apple cider while taking in all the culture in this one spot.
Another random thought: Piperlime.com opened up its first physical location last week in Soho. I’m curious to see what that’s all about.
Lastly, I couldn’t help, but posting a pic of the birthday girl this month. Her name is Roxy. She was adopted from the SPCA 8 years ago and is one of three cats that roams around in our tiny 600 square foot apartment. As all these random thoughts fill my head, I wouldn’t be surprised if my bum ends up planted on the couch watching football instead.
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes and wanted to share it with you. It’s quick and easy for those busy nights when we don’t have a lot of time to cook.
The pan is filled with spicy turkey sausage (keeping it healthy), red peppers, mushrooms, and plum tomatoes.
Orzo is my favorite pasta. It’s light and won’t weigh you down like other pastas do.
This is a “sauceless” pasta dish. You won’t miss the sauce at all. I promise.
Orzo with Spicy Sausage, Peppers, and Mushrooms
adapted from Giada’s Kitchen
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb (2 links) hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
10 cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 garlic clove, minced
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender, but still firm to bite. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining the orzo. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, add the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for 3 minutes, breaking the sausage into small bits with a wooden spoon. Add the mushrooms and peppers and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until veggies are softened and sausage is cooked through. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until warmed through.
Add the sausage mixture and parsley to the bowl with orzo. Toss to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen up the pasta if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.