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In our home, we tend to forage.  I’ll go a little nutso with groceries, then at the end of the week, I need to use what we have before I go shopping again.

I’ve been meaning to try out quinoa pasta for a while.  Last year when I went grain free in January, I wasn’t able to try it out as the main (or 2nd) ingredient is corn.  Follow the directions on the box, and yes, the water does turn yellow.

So what else did we have? Onions, garlic, artichoke-garlic-parmesan sausage, red jalapeno, oregano, lemons… sounded a little bit like this recipe we tried from Bon Appetit’s January issue (which was delicious, and now I remember I don’t think I wrote about): http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/01/linguine-with-crab-lemon-chile-and-mint

First things first: cook that sausage.  I swear, every time I cut up sausage, I freak out because it takes forever to cook thru.  Some day I’ll remember.  We had 2 sausages, and I used my handy-dandy kitchen shears (that apparently can bone a chicken, though I have not tried this yet), to cut into small chunks.  I hate handling raw meat sometimes.  Do this over medium-high heat with some olive oil in a big skillet.

Once the sausage is good and brown, add a whole onion.  I sliced mine all fancy (not really.. just a julienne..?).  Add garlic, season with salt and pepper.  I think it was about 5-ish minutes before I threw in the red jalapeno, and zested the lemon directly into the pan.  Then add the juice from zested lemon and a few frozen cubes of chicken stock*. 

Once the pasta is done, I’ve gotten lazy (at least I’m owning it…) and instead of straining, I’ll spoon the pasta from the water into whatever I’m cooking.  That way, a bit of pasta water will get into the mix and I have one less dish to wash (ahem.. husband has one less dish to wash).  Regardless, turn up the heat under the skillet, add some pasta water and pasta.  Toss in the oregano, and stir it up and let the “sauce” reduce.

If you’re feeling particulary fancy, garnish again with oregano and lemon zest. 

*Use ice-cube trays to freeze any leftover chicken stock that you don’t use right away.  It sounds silly, but chicken stock ice cubes are brilliant and I use them all the time.  Think the original concept came from Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential)- using ice-cube trays to freeze demi-glace.  Tried that, didn’t work out the way I had hoped, but great for stock.