Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Beans, and Sausage

Yield: 4-6 main-course servings


1 head of garlic, left whole, plus 2 garlic cloves minced

2 Tbsp Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil: (I like to use Garlic or a Single Varietal of Choice)

1/2 lb, about 3 links of sweet Italian sausage, casings discarded (I like to use 3 links of Jennie-O Turkey sweet Italian turkey sausage)

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot

1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, optional

1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, juice reserved, or 2 large fresh plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 (15- to 19-oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 ½-2 cups chicken stock or broth

1 lb orecciete (little ears), rotini (corkscrew pasta), or medium shells

1 Tbsp dried parley chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup), if desired

Salts-of-the-Earth Arrabiatta di Roma, Little Italy, or Mediterranean Memories sea salt* or sea salt of choice

Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut off and discard the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves.   Drizzle with a bit of Flying Olive EVOO and then wrap the head in foli. Roast it in middle of oven until the cloves are tender, about 45 minutes. Open the foil very carefully and cool to warm. With your hands, squeeze the garlic from the individual clove skins into a small bowl. Mash them into a paste with a fork.

Heat the remaining Flying Olive EVOO in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until ho. Stir in the crumbled sausage, breaking up the large pieces. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic, shallot, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is pale golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, garlic paste, and the reserved tomato liquid (if using canned tomatoes) and stock to make 2 cups. Add it in and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente (usually a minute less than the package directions). Drain in a colander. Toss the pasta with the sausage mixture, and add the parsley, basil, cheese, and salt to taste in a large bowl or pasta pot until combined well. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

Adapted from Terra Mar Grill, Old Saybrook, CT

Submitted by Barb L.