When life gets busy, and you crave a delicious, no-fuss weeknight dinner, this "Weeknight Pasta With Stuffing Crumbs" recipe has got you covered. It’s a hearty Italian sausage and kale pasta dish that’s quick to prepare and sure to please your taste buds.
The Star of the Show: Stuffing Crumbs
What sets this pasta apart are the crispy, crunchy breadcrumbs that adorn each serving. Instead of conventional breadcrumbs, this recipe calls for boxed stuffing mix, an ingenious move to add depth of flavor. These stuffing mixes are packed with seasonings like dried sage, dehydrated onions, and black pepper, making them a fantastic choice for a topping that’s bursting with taste. Simply crush the stuffing mix in a food processor, fry the crumbs in butter, and voila! You have an instant pasta upgrade.
"Think of this pasta as a simple canvas to highlight the breadcrumbs, and feel free to go rogue and use the crumbs anywhere that needs a little crunch."
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make this delectable dish:
- 1 (6-oz.) package dried stuffing mix (about 2½ cups)
- 9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 lb. rigatoni, lumache (snail shells), or other medium tubular pasta
- 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed if needed
- 6 garlic cloves, finely grated
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 1½ lb.), ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2" pieces
- 4 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about 2 cups), plus more for serving
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
The Cooking Process
Now, let’s walk through the steps to create this scrumptious weeknight pasta:
Step 1: Preparing the Stuffing Crumbs
Process one 6-oz. package of dried stuffing mix (about 2½ cups) in a food processor until the texture resembles coarse sand, which should take about 10–15 seconds.
Melt 4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Cook the stuffing crumbs, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until they turn golden brown and crisp. This should take approximately 5–7 minutes. Afterward, transfer them to a plate.
Step 2: Cooking the Pasta
Cook 1 lb. of your chosen pasta (rigatoni, lumache, or similar) in a large pot of boiling heavily salted water until it’s al dente. For rigatoni or lumache, this usually takes 10–12 minutes, or follow the package instructions for other pasta, cooking it 1 minute less.
Drain the pasta while reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Be sure to shake the colander to remove excess water from the pasta, and then set it aside. You’ll want to reserve the pot for the next step.
Step 3: Bringing It All Together
The final step is to combine the flavorful elements:
Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in the same pot over medium heat.
Add the sweet Italian sausage, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks. This should take around 8-10 minutes, or until it’s browned and cooked through.
Stir in the finely grated garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, cooking for an additional minute.
Add the Tuscan kale, letting it wilt down, which usually takes 5-7 minutes.
Toss in the Parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper, ensuring everything is well mixed.
If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to achieve your desired consistency.
Enjoy Your Weeknight Pasta With Stuffing Crumbs
Now, you’ve created a delightful "Weeknight Pasta With Stuffing Crumbs." Serve it up and savor the flavors of the crispy breadcrumbs, savory sausage, and vibrant kale. It’s a quick and easy pasta dish that’s perfect for a busy evening. Bon appétit!
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Tips for a Perfect Weeknight Pasta With Stuffing Crumbs
How to Make Weeknight Pasta With Stuffing Crumbs?
- Prepare Stuffing Crumbs:
- Take one 6-oz. package of dried stuffing mix (approximately 2½ cups).
- Use a food processor to process the stuffing mix until it reaches the texture of coarse sand. This typically takes around 10–15 seconds.
- Cook the Pasta:
- Boil 1 lb. of your chosen pasta (rigatoni, lumache, or similar) in a large pot of heavily salted water until it’s al dente. For rigatoni or lumache, this usually takes 10–12 minutes. Follow the package instructions for other pasta, cooking it 1 minute less.
- Create the Flavorful Sauce:
- Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in the same pot over medium heat.
- Add sweet Italian sausage, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks. This should take around 8-10 minutes, or until it’s browned and cooked through.
- Stir in finely grated garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, cooking for an additional minute.
- Add Tuscan kale, allowing it to wilt down, which typically takes 5-7 minutes.
- Toss in the Parmesan cheese, fresh lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper, ensuring everything is well mixed.
- Assemble and Serve:
- If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid to achieve your desired consistency.
- Divide the cooked pasta among shallow bowls.
- Generously top the pasta with the flavorful stuffing crumbs and additional Parmesan for an extra burst of flavor.
This easy-to-follow process results in a delicious Weeknight Pasta With Stuffing Crumbs that will satisfy your taste buds in no time.
What is the Key Ingredient in Pasta?
- Type of Pasta: A collection of different pasta varieties.
- Staple Ingredient for Many Dishes: The fundamental component that forms the heart of most pasta dishes.
- Main Ingredients: Durum wheat flour is the key ingredient in pasta, providing the foundation for its structure and texture.
- Ingredients Generally Used: Besides durum wheat flour, pasta recipes may include water and sometimes eggs for added richness.
- Variations: While durum wheat is the primary choice, there are variations like rice flour pasta and legume pasta that offer alternative ingredients for those with specific dietary preferences.
In summary, the key ingredient in pasta is durum wheat flour, which is a vital component in the creation of various pasta varieties that grace our tables in countless delicious dishes.
What are the Main Ingredients in Pasta?
When it comes to creating a captivating pasta dish, it’s essential to know the core ingredients that form the basis of this beloved food. Pasta is typically made from an unleavened dough that includes the following key components:
Wheat Flour: The primary ingredient in pasta, providing the structure and texture. It’s usually durum wheat flour for traditional pasta.
Liquid: Water or eggs are commonly mixed with the wheat flour to create the dough. Eggs, in particular, can enhance richness and flavor.
This classic combination of wheat flour and a liquid component forms the foundation of pasta. From this base, a wide variety of shapes and forms are crafted, making it a versatile canvas for creating diverse and delightful pasta dishes that never fail to satisfy.
What are the 3 Ingredients All Pastas are Made of?
When it comes to the fundamental components of pasta, simplicity reigns supreme. All pasta varieties share a common base composed of precisely three essential ingredients:
Egg: Eggs are a crucial component that not only contribute to the pasta’s structure but also add a richness to its flavor. However, some pasta types may exclude eggs for those with dietary preferences.
Flour: Wheat flour, typically durum wheat flour, forms the primary foundation of pasta, providing its distinctive texture and structure.
Water: Water is the essential liquid element that binds the flour and eggs together, enabling the creation of the pasta dough.
These three ingredients, egg, flour, and water, are the cornerstone of all pasta varieties. From this basic foundation, the culinary world creates a wide array of pasta shapes and forms, making it a versatile and beloved food enjoyed across the globe.
When Pasta is Used as an Ingredient in a Recipe
When incorporating pasta into a recipe, it’s essential to consider the specific requirements to ensure the best results. Here are some guidelines for different scenarios:
Spaghetti Preparation: For a large batch, like 100 servings of spaghetti, you’ll need 6 gallons of water, 2 tablespoons of salt, and 2 tablespoons of oil to cook 6 pounds of dried spaghetti adequately.
Using Pasta in Recipes: When pasta is to be used as an ingredient in a dish that will undergo further cooking, such as macaroni and cheese, it’s advisable to slightly undercook the pasta. This ensures that it reaches the desired level of doneness when the entire recipe is complete.
These considerations will help you make the most of pasta when using it as an ingredient in various culinary creations, whether serving a crowd or crafting a delicious pasta-centric dish.
What are the Key Ingredients in Italy?
In the rich and diverse landscape of Italian cuisine, a common set of key ingredients forms the heart of many dishes, regardless of the region. These foundational elements include:
Olive Oil: Often referred to as ‘liquid gold,’ olive oil plays a central role in Italian cooking, imparting its unique flavor and richness.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a ubiquitous ingredient, bringing a burst of color, flavor, and depth to countless Italian recipes.
Cheese: From Parmigiano-Reggiano to Mozzarella, cheese is a staple ingredient, contributing to the lusciousness of pasta, pizza, and many other Italian classics.
Basil: This fragrant herb is a beloved choice, used to add a touch of freshness and aroma to various Italian dishes.
Wine: Italian wines are celebrated worldwide and are often used both for cooking and as accompaniments to meals.
Mushrooms: Varieties like porcini and chanterelle are favored for their earthy flavors, making them a sought-after ingredient in Italian cuisine.
Pasta: Pasta is the foundation of many iconic Italian dishes, serving as a canvas for an array of sauces and flavors.
These seven key ingredients encapsulate the essence of Italian cooking, showcasing the diversity and excellence of this renowned culinary tradition.