Orecchiette with Roasted Garlic Basil Oil

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Orecchiette with Roasted Garlic Basil Oil

The roasted garlic and basil oil in this recipe can be made in excess and stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  Not only is it delicious in this dish but it can be drizzled over tomatoes and mozzarella, salads, chicken and fish etc. For this recipe you will need:

  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fully cooked Italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Victoria Taylor’s Roasted Garlic Slices
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return to the pot. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Mix leeks in pot with pasta and stir in reserved Pasta water ¼ cup at a time as needed.  Heat the same pan used to cook the leeks and add the sausage, cook turning occasionally until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Combine basil, 1/3 cup olive oil and Roasted Garlic Slices in a food processor or blender. Pulse for approximately 30 seconds.  Pour garlic and basil oil into a fine mesh strainer over the pot of pasta and leeks.  Gently press mixture to release remaining oil and fold into pasta.  Discard remaining basil and garlic in the strainer. Add the sausage, peas, parmesan and pine nuts to the pasta, mix thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Best,             Victoria