A BUTCHER’S MONTHLY RECIPE FROM CHEF RODGER
I’m a believer in this simple magic meal formula to make a complete meal that’s easy to get on the dinner table: Pasta + Jarred Sauce + Fresh Greens + Protein. It’s a semi-homemade family meal perfect for busy weeknights, but it’s still vibrant and full of flavor. Best of all, the possibilities are endless, since you can change out the four components to your liking.
When following this meal formula, the quality of ingredients are key. When there are only four of them, it’s hard to hide. Might as well make ‘em the good stuff. An excellent pasta in your favorite shape, market fresh greens, a nice piece of your desired protein and a special jarred sauce. Tomato sauce is fine, but I’m looking for out of the box (or jar). Roasted vegetable sauces like peppers or eggplant, pestos, curries, there are so many good options. Combining these four ingredients magically makes a beautiful, filling, instant dish. Adding a little grated cheese on top before eating isn’t cheating, it’s encouraged!
Here is just one example of my magic meal formula:
- PASTA: Rustichella PrimoGrano Sagne e Pezzi pasta
This is my current favorite pasta. It’s a whole grain noodle with phenomenal flavor and a wavy shape that gives dishes loft and holds up to anything.
- SAUCE: Bulgarian Lutenitsa Red Pepper Sauce
This is a fabulous sauce to put on anything.
- FRESH GREENS: Tantré Farms Organic Arugula
Some of my favorite dark greens for their spicy flavor.
- PROTEIN: Lamb Sausage Merguez from Marrow
A high quality sausage like this makes the dish!
- Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook pasta (follow these handy tips). This variety can take about 12 minutes to fully cook, but taste it and see. Reserve a ¼ cup of the pasta water. Drain well and cool slightly.
- Warm the lutenitsa with the reserved pasta water in a saucepan. Pro tip: don’t use your favorite spoon or spatula, it will stain them red.
- Cook the sausage, grilled, pan fried or oven roasted. Slice the cooked sausage into ½ inch coins.
- Wash, dry and rough chop the arugula.
- Fold all four ingredients together.
- Garnish with grated parm if desired. Serves 6.