I love the smell of burning wood – the way it fills the house, curling around the chairs and settling in the cracks and crevices of our life.
I love the way it settles into your life – how it finds ways to hold close to your clothes and hair and burrows deep into the couch in such a way that you’re catching a whiff of earthy wood smoke tendrils in the air days later.
Despite the relatively warm evenings we’ve had this winter, we cross-stacked store-bought wood and lit a fire tonight.
While Olive is apprehensive of the cracking and popping beast that roars at end of the room, she, like the rest of the souls in the house, is drawn to its warmth and comfort.
We rest, dogs at our feet and cats nestled near our heads, soaking in the last gap of Winter’s crisp nights.
A night like this, with Winter holding tight and Spring knocking at the door, deserves a quick pasta – one with winter’s heartiness and spring’s early offerings.
Pasta with Leeks, Broccolini, and Sausage
4 ounces gluten-free pasta
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 leek, cleaned and finely sliced
1 bunch broccolini, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 chicken sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick (I used Johnsonville’s Three Cheese Chicken Sausage)
2 cloves garlic, minced
freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
squeeze fresh lemon juice
salt an pepper, to taste
Begin by heating 1.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat. Saute the leeks and broccolini over medium-low heat, until the leeks are translucent. Remove the cooked leeks and broccolini from the pan and add the sausage. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until nicely browned on both sides. Add to the leek mixture and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package’s instructions. Drain and set aside. In the same pan used to cook the pasta, add the remaining 1 1/2 Tablespoon butter and the garlic. Cook until the garlic is soft, but not browned. Add the leeks and broccolini and grate over fresh nutmeg. Stir to combine.
Mix in the heavy cream and Parmesan. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Squeeze with fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve hot, with more Parmesan, to taste.