Dude’s Pasta

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Dude’s Pasta

By David Bird

This recipe was named after my friend Todd, who essentially invented it AND “lent” me the apron I’m wearing and still have in my possession. When my wife, Julie, and I lived in Northern Indiana, BC (before children), we had dinner every Friday night with Todd and his wife Chrisi. We all pitched in no matter whose house, like a family, which we were. We drank wine, laughed and talked about EVERYTHING. It was always entertaining.

Some in the group were better cooks than others. Chrisi gained her Friday night “all time dishwasher” position when one Friday Todd asked her to take a green pepper to the grill and roast it. She was gone for a few minutes and returned proudly with a perfectly chopped pepper and said, “Now, how do I keep this from falling through the grate?”  Perfect dishwasher.

At the time I was a mediocre cook, but under the tutelage of Todd, subscriptions to all the foodie magazines and much practice feeding my own family, I am now confident in the kitchen. The beauty of this “dudes” recipe is you pretty much can’t mess it up. No parsley? Use basil. No sausage? Make it vegetarian. Like red wine? Add some. You get the idea. Thanks Todd, for the apron, the recipe and the friendship.

Dude’s Pasta
Serves 8

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 pint heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly ground nutmeg
1 lb. bow tie pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped (for garnish)

Heat large skillet over medium high heat and brown sausage, breaking up with the back of a spoon. Add mushrooms, garlic and onion and cook until softened, add a bit of olive oil if needed. Add tomatoes, simmer until thickened. Add cream and simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

Toss pasta with sauce. Just before serving add a bit of nutmeg and the freshly chopped parsley.

Great with crusty bread and your favorite Beaujolais.

Alternate recipe: Omit the cream and nutmeg and add second can of tomatoes and 1-2 teaspoons of sugar to taste. A little veal stock paste is always wonderful as well.

David Bird teaches humanities in Savannah, Ga. When not in the classroom, you will most likely find him doing projects for his creative wife, Julie, trying to answer increasingly complicated questions on biology, religion or the meaning of life from his six-year-old son, Liam, or just snuggling and watching The Office with his dog Jack.

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Reader Comments:

Know what would make this better? Parmesan & bacon!

By Sweet Sinsation on October 21, 2010

My grandmother & aunts used to make amazing cream corn
fresh off the cob & it was so good, but I have not been able to duplicate it. Any ideas?

By Dianne on September 10, 2010

I made this dish and we loved it! It did not look just like the picture but it tasted great. I have made it since and changed a few things ..I added a little more garlic and I used fresh diced tomatoes from my family garden. I will continue making this recipe in the future. Thanks for sharing it.

Happy Cooking XO

By Chris on August 08, 2010

I agree - not a wow with me either.  Mine did not look like the one on the photograph and I think that the full pint of heavy cream was the reason.  If I made it again, I would cut down on the cream and bump up the garlic a bit.

By charlane on April 19, 2010

This recipe is very simple, but don’t forget to add the nutmeg. This will fill you up, but didn’t “wow” me like other Paula dishes. If you take a bite with a lot of mushrooms, it almost tastes like her stroganoff. Probably won’t make again, but will keep the faith with other dishes she posts

By Sue on January 22, 2010

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