A Giada Favorite

I heart Giada De Laurentiis. When she was new on the Food Network many years ago, my dad and I would scoff at her as if she was some pretty little bimbo trying to be our beloved Nigella Lawson. Then I started watching her in secret, all while continuing to pretend that she annoyed me to high heaven. But the thing is - I'm in love with her. Sure sure, she's gorgeous, but I'm not a man. So what I really love about her is that she's the biggest dork and isn't afraid to show it on tv. Oh, and also the fact that her recipes are delicious, easy, and always turn out. Like this one. I make this at least once every couple weeks. It's so simple, quick and super tasty. Here's the original recipe from the Food Network, but I've made some adaptations over the years of making this, and that is what's reflected below. This easily serves 4, or just 2 with lunch leftovers.

Farfalle with Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. ground Italian sausage removed from casing (I use a tube of Bob Evan's Zesty Italian Sausage)
10 oz. of sliced cremini mushrooms
10 oz. package of frozen peas, partially defrosted
12 oz. dried farfalle pasta
1/2 cup grated hard Italian cheese (I usually use Asiago)
Salt & Pepper

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.

In a large saute pan over high heat, add sausage and saute breaking any large lumps until brown. If you're using Turkey Sausage instead of Pork Sausage, add 2 tbsp. of oil to the pan first. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan and heat. Add chopped mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and saute for 4 minutes. Return the meat to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the pot of water has come to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and add the meat mixture. Combine thoroughly and gently cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Drizzle in remaining olive oil. If the mixture is dry, do not hesitate to use more olive oil if necessary. Check the seasoning and salt and pepper according to your taste. Turn off the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir well and serve in large bowl.

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