This was so good, I wish we could have had it every night this week. Who knew something so simple could turn into such a heavenly dish? It was slim pickings in the kitchen so I relied on staples. I only had cippolini onions and decided to highlight them by using lots and not chopping too much. They are a lovely little onion that have a delicate sweetness and tender meatiness. Buy them whenever you see them!
It took me a long time to realize that pasta does not need to be swimming in sauce to be good. It is so hard to be restrained and resist making a red sauce, or a white sauce or use a broth etc etc. I have discovered that if you build a nice flavor with a couple of solid ingredients (in this case, garlic & onions), butter and pasta water can be enough most of the time. And, it was in this case. We all lapped it up and begged for more. The Parmigiano Reggiano cheese made a creamy sauce with the pasta water and I was heartbroken when I slurped the last flavor-packed linguine strand..
You will need: 1 lb sausage, removed from casing, (you can use a mild Italian or a variety that you like?), 12 cippolini onions, roughly chopped, 4 garlic cloves, sliced, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 1 1/2 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 cup pasta water, 1 lb linguine (I use Barilla brand).
1 – In big saute pan on medium heat break up sausage and add to pan. Cook for 6 or so minutes, until starting to brown in spots.
2 – Put the pasta water on and cook linguine according to instructions.
3 – Add the garlic, pepper flake and onions and continue to cook for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4 – When pasta has cooked, scoop out about 1 cup of the hot pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta. Start by adding a 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pan and give it a minute to cook. Add the butter and when it has melted toss in the linguine, followed by the parsley and cheese. Give everything a good stir and add more pasta water if needs be ?
Divide between warm bowls and top with more cheese and pepper flakes if you like – so good!