Robin's broccoli and sausage pasta is a frequent fall back for us. It's got the protein/starch/and veggie all in one. You can use turkey sausage if you need to lower the fat even further. It's also real wine friendly:
Here's the link:
http://www.wineloverspage.com/user_subm ... 97991.html
and the recipe: (We bump up the amounts to serve six)
INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)
1 Italian sausage, sweet or hot as you prefer, about 4 to 6 ounces
1 or 2 medium heads of broccoli
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
2 cloves garlic
4 ounces orecchiette (see below for substitutes and measurement note)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
ABOUT THE PASTA: I like using real orecchiette for authenticity, but I think conchiglie (small shell pasta) or even elbow macaroni would work fine, and just about any short pasta would do in a pinch.
ABOUT MEASUREMENTS: A reader asked last week why I often give pasta quantities by weight rather than volume. I\'ve found that one important key to eating well without gaining weight, for me at least, is to be scrupulous about portion control. To that end, a quality digital kitchen scale has proven one of the best investments I ever made. Weigh out 2 ounces of pasta per diner, 4 ounces for two for 200 calories per person. If you don\'t have a precise kitchen scale, estimate 1/2 cup of short pasta for two and you\'ll be close.
Now, on to the recipe:
1. Wash the broccoli and cut it into small florets. Mince the garlic, and cut the red peppers into 1/2-inch squares. Fill a large pot with plenty of water for the pasta, add enough salt \"to make it taste like sea water,\" at least a couple of tablespoons, and bring it to the boil.
2. Remove the casing from the sausage and cook it over medium heat in a sautee pan (nonstick if you prefer), breaking the meat into small bits as it browns. Stir in the garlic and cook with the sausage for a minute or so until it\'s translucent; then add the red pepper squares and the broccoli florets, salt pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste. Stir to blend, pour in 1/2 cup water, cover and reduce heat to very low.
3. While the broccoli is cooking, put the orecchiette in the boiling water, stir once or twice to keep it from sticking together, and cook until al dente - the brand I chose, De Ceccho, needed about 12 minutes. Keep an eye on the broccoli to judge when it\'s getting done to your taste - there\'s significant variation among individuals who prefer it slightly underdone and crisply tender, and those who would rather err on the side of getting it just a bit soft. As it gets close, remove the lid and increase heat to medium to boil off most of the remaining water.
Drain the pasta, put it back in the pot, and put in the cooked broccoli and sausage mixture. Drizzle in a taste of good olive oil, 1 tablespoon or less, and the cheese; mix and serve.
WINE MATCH: As noted, this dish sings with a fruity-crisp red. We stayed in the Mediterranean but moved from Southern Italy to Central Spain for a match, the affordable, tasty Pergolas 1997 Valdepeñas Tempranillo featured in yesterday\'s Thirty Second Wine Advisor.