Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Garlic Pasta

They were giving out free samples of this Emeril brand sausage (“with bacon, garlic, & red wine flavors”) at Sams Club. Riley liked it, and it’s always good to have more things to offer Mr. Finicky, so I bought some. The packaging had this recipe printed on the back, and I was intrigued enough to give it a try.

4 links Emeril’s Chef’s Specialty Smoked Sausage
14oz fresh or dried pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced lengthwise
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp rosemary
2 tsp shredded lemon rind
1 cup pitted kalamata halves
black pepper

Cook pasta al dente. While pasta is cooking, peel and slice* sweet potatoes. To roast, place potatoes on baking sheet. Combine sesame and vegetable oils and brush on potatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown. Slice sausage into 1/2″ diagonal pieces. Place olive oil and garlic in sauté pan and cook about 1 minute until golden. Add sliced sausage, rosemary, lemon rind, olives, and pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes or until warmed through. To serve, combine sausage mixture with warm pasta and top with roasted sweet potatoes.

I made it once, and found it delightful. I made it again a few nights later, and mistakenly grabbed a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon when adding the sea salt. Just about ruined the whole thing. I don’t believe I’ll be making that mistake again. It’s a pretty rich recipe anyway, and not “comfort” enough to become a dietary staple, but I’ll make it every now and then to shake things up.
*I basically julienned them, french-fry size, and that worked pretty well with the fettuccini noodles.

My Signature Pizza

I made my “homemade” pizza tonight. Pillsbury roll-out crust, Ragu Homemade Style pizza sauce, mozzarella of course, with deli-thin pepperoni slices, red onion, kalamata olives, and roasted red peppers. It needs a signature name. It’s been giving me trouble in the rental house’s oven, which runs 25-50 degrees too hot. But tonight I got it perfect, I hope I can reproduce it now. The crust was crisp without being crunchy, not chewy at all, and although thin, it was sturdy enough to hold the toppings without drooping. The platonic ideal.

I think the higher you set the oven, the farther over the desired temperature it goes. I should test that theory with an actual thermometer.

Happy Birthday to Riley!

They say that time is relative, and I believe it. In blatant defiance of my own temporal perception, Riley turned one year old today. I can’t believe he was ever that small, and yet it can’t have been more than a few weeks ago, can it?

I’m really enjoying being at home with him. I’m so glad I have the chance.

He’s doing great. I could say he’s walking, in that he does take some steps without support, but he’s not yet stable enough to walk everywhere he goes. It won’t be long though. His main problem is that his steps are too big.

He’s pretty vocal, and he likes communicating with us. He parrots us a lot without knowing what he’s saying, but he also clearly and consistently uses words to communicate. He recognizes even more words than he uses himself.

A beginner’s guide to Rilese.