Let’s rock ‘n’ roll. If anyone tries this, let me know how it works:
(For more on the genesis of the recipe, and the outdoor photo shoot, see my Tuesday, May 26, 2009 lunch post.)
Green-Eyed Pasta Salad
8 oz. pasta of your choice; something curly works best. Fresh, even better.
10-ish Brussels sprouts, washed, bottoms chopped off, each sliced into four lengthwise pieces
1/3 – 1/2 lb. English peas, shelled, rinsed
4 oz. summer sausage, casing peeled, diced into strips of thickness of your choice
2 Tbls. caper berries — heaping tablespoons, if you like ’em (I used about 8 large Sicilian green olives, diced, but I think the salad would be improved with the capers. Plus, more “green eyes.”)
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil (rinse, pat dry with paper towel, pluck leaves, roll leaves into little bundle, slice lengthwise)
1 Tbls. lemon juice (start with this and taste, more can always be added)
1/3 c. (aka hefty circular drizzle) E.V.O.O. (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Mixed lettuce greens (handful per serving; optional)
Boil water for pasta; begin cooking pasta per directions.
Meanwhile, prep Brussels sprouts, peas, summer sausage and basil. (It’ll make your life easier; pretend you’re the host of a cooking show).
Boil water (small saucepan) for peas.
Microwave (aka cheating blanching) sliced Brussels sprouts 2 min with dash of water, loosely covered.
Let cooked pasta drain in sink in colander; return pan to heat and sauté summer sausage over medium-high heat (should brown and smell damn good, but not burn, bottom of pan stickage is okay) until generally hot and visible browning. Turn out onto previous prep location.
Add Brussles sprouts to pasta/sausage pan; cook on medium-high heat about five minutes, until fragrant and visible browning. Turn out onto previous prep location.
Add peas to boiling water; cook until tender (about five minutes).
Return pasta to pan; drain peas.
To pasta, add: sausage, Brussels sprouts, drained peas, caper berries, hefty drizzle of E.V.O.O. and lemon juice. Mix.
Add fresh basil. Mix.
Taste. Adjust for taste. Mix again. Serve over handful of lettuce greens (optional).