Thursday, April 15, 2010

Orzo With Sausage, Peppers & Tomatoes

I'm back from vacation. Well, I think I'm back from vacation, it took Delta Airlines so long to get me home I can't really recall what I was doing in Arizona.

Does it really take 15 hours to fly from Phoenix to Michigan? I know we had to stop and change planes in Minneapolis, or maybe it was Osaka, but more than half a day? Really?

We were traveling on MONDAY! That's right, not the Sunday at the end of Spring Break, but Monday. SSSal travelled on Sunday and was bumped along with 14 other people. Fifteen ticket holders refused a seat and mollified with a $400 travel voucher, $10 meal ticket and a hotel room for the night. That's an airline giving away $6,150+ to not fly!

When CrabCake 2 and I got to the airport Monday things were no better. The airport was already packed with bumped-grumpy travelers stuffing themselves with indifferent burritos and tepid hamburgers. When exactly did the airport turn into the bus station?

The thing is, we actually had it pretty good; some poor saps trying to get to Salt Lake City had been bumped twice and had no real prospect of getting home before Tuesday. Folks, you can drive from Salt Lake City to Phoenix and back in 24 hours!! "Delta, we love to fly and it shows."

The high point came when the gate agent announced that the latest SLC flight was full and the 20 people waiting standby wouldn't be making this plane and that the next flight had an "equipment change" to a smaller plane so they wouldn't be making that flight either.

Delta, their slogan should be "Delta Air Lines. We love to fly, just not with you on-board."

Ah well, vacation was nice, I think. I'll try and remember some stories for the next post. Since Delta had packed the planes like a cases of sausages I searched for an appropriate recipe. Orzo with Sausage. Peppers & Tomatoes is a Giada DeLaurentiis recipe that fits the bill. Alright, the food will be served in sections, please wait for your plate to be called, enjoy...

Orzo with Sausage, Peppers & Tomatoes
from Giada DeLaurentiis

3 roasted red peppers, rinsed, seeded and chopped
1 pound orzo pasta
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 TBSP kosher salt
2 TBSP olive oil
7 ounces (about 2 links) mild Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 clove garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
2 TBSP chopped fresh leaf parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup ricotta salata cheese, crumbled

In a medium saucepan bring the chicken stock, water and kosher salt to a boil over high heat.

Add the orzo and cook until firm-tender, approximately 8-10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and saute an additional minute.

Add the bell peppers, red pepper flakes and chopped tomatoes. Saute an additional 2 minutes.

Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer the drained orzo to a large bowl. Add the sausage and vegetable mixture along with the parsley. Adjust the seasoning. Toss all the ingredients adding as much of the reserved cooking liquid as needed to loosen the pasta.

Top with the crumbled ricotta and serve.

OK, this meal is much better than the stuff you'll get on any plane at at any airport. I think you need to double the amount of sausage for this recipe to really work, but it's a great bring along to your next pot luck or picnic.

Until next time crablings, remember, you can do it, you can cook; just make sure your armrests, seat back and tray tables are in their full upright and locked positions.


April was in CA now MA said...

I hope I'm in Zone 1 because that looks fantastic!

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

Reading your post brought it all back, that being my hatred of Delta. The link below describes my feelings in a bit more detail.

Your orzo looks fantastic. I love Giada's recipes.

WineWizardBob said...

Every once in a while a region and a grape and a vintage unify in greatness. The 2007 vintage for Barbera from the Piedmont section of Italy pulled off the trifecta. Barberas are not expensive, though the best can be. This vintage is delicious with all types of food and really makes the food taste better, even Crabby's Cuisine!

Now the 2008s are starting to come in and they are not as good. Make sure you read the fine print.


dining room tables said...

I remember this dish when I was back in the country! So similar with what we had back then.

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

where fore art thou, crabby cook? I miss your posts!