Pasta doesn’t have to be heavy!

I totally stole this sauce idea from that lady on the Food Network that pronounces the word “mozzarella” differently every time she says it. What’s her name… Giada that’s it! She may try a little too hard to insert Italian pronunciation, but I’ve always had good luck with her recipes. In this one, you use ricotta for the sauce, so there is no making of a roux or bechamel or any of that stuff that is usually more time consuming than I’m willing to commit to for just a pasta dish. What you get is something fresh, zesty and a sauce that’s kind of in between an alfredo and a tetrazini type thing.

deer sausage recipe

I really love the combination of ricotta and lemon, and I love making a yummy pasta that’s not in a tomato based sauce. It’s good to have a little something different. The edamame adds a nice snap and freshness to this dish, though you could certainly use peas instead of you can’t find frozen edamame. For the sausage, Italian is the obvious go-to for this. You could also use breakfast sausage and it would pair pretty well. Just make sure you take it out of the casings before cooking it.

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If you really want to make this dish a little extra special, use the fresh pasta from the refrigerator section at the store. (Just be careful not to over cook it – it becomes al dente in a lot less time than you’d think.) That’s what I did this time around because we really just don’t eat pasta that much anymore (because sadly, heavy pasta dishses have started to upset our aging sensitive tummies).  Given that, I figured I’d spring for the good stuff. If you’re gonna do it, do it right, you know what I mean? I refuse to eat grocery store sheet cake for the same reason.

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Linguine with Sausage and Edamame

Ingredients

  • 1lb linguine (cooked al dente)
  • 1 cup pasta water (saved from the pasta pot)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot (finely sliced)
  • 1lb venison sausage (Italian or breakfast sausage)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 bag frozen edamame (thawed)
  • 1 15 oz tub of ricotta
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan (pluse more for garnish)

Directions

Step 1
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the sliced shallots and sauté until soft, 1-2 minutes. Add the sausage with the lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste and brown the meat. Add the edamame and toss until warm.
Step 2
Meanwhile, set your pasta pot to boil and cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve 2 cups of pasta liquid. Drain the pasta quickly and add it to the large skillet right away, letting some of the water still cling to the pasta. Add the ricotta and lemon juice and toss well until the ricotta melts down into a sauce, adding pasta liquid to help break it up until it's smooth and creamy. Stir in the shredded parmesan and serve immediately.

Non game substitution: Use regular Italian sausage, taken out of its casings.


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