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RBR Tailgating: Quick Hit on a Pasta Classic

I’m a bandwagon basketball fan. 

I was crap at playing the game in school and so never really paid attention to it. Then I fell in love with a Duke grad. Worse, her parents were both Duke grads and her sister went there too.

There was a kind of détente where I would fly the Duke flag in basketball and she would fly the Bama flag in football. Neither would threaten the other and we continued on in connubial bliss. Then this season happened.

Oats has provided me with a reason to break the truce. This is so much damn fun.

I usually make a pasta, changing every week as best I can, for Sunday lunch so this isn’t a tailgate per se, but it will serve. It works just as well on a Monday.

Orecchiette with Peppers, Spinach, and Sausage

- 1 lb Italian sausage, not in the casings

- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced

- spinach, a good handful

- garlic, as much as you dare

- 1 lb orecchiette pasta

- extra virgin olive oil, something particularly fruity

Couldn’t be simpler. A little olive oil and then the red peppers. When the peppers dull in color, toss in the sausage and garlic. Brown, add the spinach. Done.

Cook the pasta to al dente and toss with all that stuff you did before.

Add Olive oil as needed. You are ready to serve.

I toss in a bunch of red pepper flakes, but that’s an editorial decision.

Anybody familiar with Italian classics is going to point out that the traditional dish calls for broccoli raab rather than spinach. Right they are. My wife hates broccoli in its raab or normal state. We subbed spinach and loved it. Do as you will.

We approached sucking in that first game. We still won.

If you’re up for it, my Sunday pasta lunch will serve as a Monday pre-game.

I’m the oldest of twenty-four cousins on my mother’s side. The bulk of them live in Maryland. If we win, I’m going to be unbearable. If we lose… well, they may never let me live it down. T(w)erps?