Radiatori with Chicken Sausage and Escarole & November 25, 1996

I found the recipe for Orecchietti with Sausage and Chicory on the Food and Wine site. I decided to use fully cooked al fresco chicken sausage in place of the Italian sausage. And Orecchiette? I suppose I will have to speak to the manager at Stop and Shop again. Their pasta selection for lack of a better word, sucks. Their selection is so generic. I could have gotten the Orecchiette pasta at the Big Y but I did not what to drive to Guilford. (Not too long ago I spoke to the manager at Stop and Shop about King Arthur's Bread Flour. All they sold where these stupid little 1 pound bags. I told the manager that I could go to Big Y and shop or they could start carrying the 5 pound bags. The next week guess what was on the shelves!). Anyway I used Radiatori pasta. A fine substitute pasta. The choice of the Escarole over the Chicory was easy. I like Escarole!

Yes this was delicious. And using the chicken sausage made it a super quick mid-week supper.

Radiatori with Chicken Sausage and Escarole
Adapted from Food and Wine Orecchiette with Sausage and Chicory

Ingredients
1 pound radiatori
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Chicken Sausage
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound escarole, coarsely chopped and washed
Kosher salt
1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup grated pecorino, plus more for serving

Method -
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat,  until browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate.

Add the crushed red pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the escarole with any water clinging to the leaves and season with salt. Cover and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Uncover and cook until the escarole is tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes longer.

Add the pasta to the skillet along with the sausage, chicken stock and pecorino and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the liquid is slightly reduced and creamy, about 3 minutes. Serve right away, passing extra cheese at the table.


November 25, 1996

Today I took a half day at work. I wanted to go over to my parent's house to pick up some things. I sorted through some boxes and I came upon a notebook that my Mother had started. It was like a journal. She would write down what she did on that day including what she made for dinner. It struck me funny because we would discuss what we each had for dinner every night when we spoke on the phone.

It was a nice stroll down memory lane until I came to the entry dated Monday, November 25, 1996. She wrote, "I can't remember." I cursed, closed the book and poured a glass of wine. My Mom had Alzheimer's Disease. My sister and I often wonder if she knew what was happening. At the time both my sister and I knew something was not right with her. We assumed it was just old age. It was not until 2000 that the doctors told us that she had Dementia and the start of Alzheimer's.

I opened the book again and skimmed ahead. Noticing her beautiful penmanship becoming not so perfect. I closed the book. I suppose I will continue to read it. Just not tonight.

I also found my Mom's 1934 class photo. Oh my God she looked just like me! Or I look just like her! It reminded of a the ending of The Shining where Jack Nicholson appears in the old photo...

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