Saturday, March 19, 2011

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sausage, Leeks, and Fontina

I have really enjoyed blogging about my food endeavours and enjoy all the feedback and requests I have been getting.  Keep them coming guys!  I am all about making meals that will have leftovers for meals throughout the week.  One of my new favorite shows to watch is Rachael Ray's week in a day.  The premise of the show is to do all of your cooking in one day for the whole week.  This is exactly how I like to cook so it is definitely my type of show.  This recipe has a ton of servings and tastes just as good reheated in the office microwave.  This pasta dish is unique, delicious and easy.  I first made this with my friend Glenda and we were in love with the flavor this pasta had.  What can go wrong with sausage and fontina cheese? NOTHING!  I have seen a lot of recipes made with leeks and really never knew what to do with them.  They are big, look intimidating and taste like onions.  When I made this recipe the first time it was my first experience and now I am hooked.  If you have never tasted or cooked with leeks, this is a great first try.  There is one important fact about leeks that you need to be aware of when using them.  Leeks are grown is sandy soil and have many layers of leaves, therefore the perfect the place for sand and soil to hide.  Slice the dark green tops of the leek off as they are tough and don't taste to good.  Then slick the stalk in half and then into little moons.  Next fill up a big bowl with cold water and throw in your sliced leeks as you chop.  Separate the moons into slices so the sand and grit can settle to the bottom. Gross look at all that grit.  

While you are waiting to the grit to settle to the bottom of your bowl start cooking up your sausage and heating up your water for your pasta.  I had angel hair pasta on hand this time but any pasta will do.  Once the grit has settled to the bottom pull your leeks out and dry in a clean kitchen towel.  If the leeks are to wet when they hit the pan it will cause the grease from the sausage to pop.  Grease in the eye and all over the stove is not so fun so this step is important.  Once you add the leeks start in on your cabbage.  I love this green veggie.  I liked it sauteed with garlic as a side or as a little added crunch in my salads.  It is so versatile, cheap and easy to handle.  Once the leeks are soft and look like sauteed onions (left) add the chopped cabbage (right)

Once the cabbage hits the pan you are in the home stretch.  Once the cabbage is soft add in some chicken broth and start grating your fontina cheese.  Fonita is a yummy, easy melting cheese.  Which also means it can get difficult to grate.  Make sure your cheese is super cold, I even stick mine in the freezer when I first start my cooking.  Once it is time to grate it is the perfect temperature to hold its shape for easy grating.  This recipe doesn't call for a lot of cheese so feel free to add more. 

The end product isn't very pretty once you mix it all up, but trust me, its a party of flavors in your mouth.  This recipe makes a TON.  You will be able to enjoy this one several times throughout your work week.

Nutritional Information

385 (21% from fat)
8.9g (sat 3.2g,mono 3.8g,poly 1.2g)

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