Thursday, May 17, 2012

Luscious Lumaconi! (You do, and you'll clean it up.)

It's not that my roommate CAN'T's that she mostly chooses not to. So imagine my surprise when I come home from work at the end of a long day, and she has found a special recipe, shopped for the ingredients, and prepared the most DELICIOUS pasta dish EVER! This one is a winner, and is definitely going into the rotation around here.

*The original recipe used a snail-shaped pasta called lumaconi, but anything that would hold the creamy sauce would work.

Creamy Lumaconi with Italian Sausage and Spinach
(Source: Bev Cooks)

1 head garlic, end sliced off
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups lumaconi (or any similar pasta--Cyd used large ribbed shells)
2 Italian sausage links, casings removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 thyme sprig, leaves removed
1 oregano sprig, leaves removed
2 cups chopped spinach
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Place the garlic head in a small piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with oil, seal and roast for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small sauce pot, melt the butter. When the foaming subsides, add the flour. Whisk constantly for one minute, and then slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk another five minutes or so until the sauce gets thick and creamy. Add in the herbs, a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk a little more. Transfer cream sauce to a small food processor, add the roasted garlic cloves and pulse until very smooth. Cover to keep warm.

In the meantime, heat a medium skillet over medium high. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon, cooking until browned all over, six minutes. Also, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until al dente. Just taste it to test it. Drain and return to the pot.

Pour the cream sauce over the pasta, along with the chopped fresh spinach and the cooked sausage. Toss to coat and combine everything. Serve with good parmesan cheese or a chiffonade of basil...or both.


Tcpantry said...

I like your recipe for Lumanconi but as a chef I believe you forgot to mention what to do with the spinach. Just adding it will make the dish watery. It should be drained then sauteed with the sausage to extract moisture to be served at the correct temperature.

Joy Bugaloo said...

I agree that that is a more proper technique to deal with spinach, however...
1) It wasn't my recipe. It was from a site called Bev Cooks that my roomie found...and then prepared. So maybe someone needs to school this Bev in the ways of cooking spinach! Tee hee.
2) I think any moisture from the fresh spinach actually helped to loosen up the very thick roux-and-milk-based sauce, kind of like when you stir in a little starchy pasta water to thin out a sauce.

But I do appreciate your input! --Gina