How many times do we tell ourselves that things are not going according to plan?
What if, instead, we have the internal dialogue that summons the courage to state that indeed,
it all is happening for the best possible outcome?
Over the past six months, I have travelled cross country from the sandy, sun kissed beaches of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, to the historic harbors of the Altlantic Ocean in Mystic, Connecticut.
Along my journey, there have been moments of respite and rejuvenation, and also times of self doubt and chaos.
Yet, nowhere has there been more laughter and pure happiness than with these amazing souls.
Whenever we are all together, time stops and living truly in the moment becomes the main focus.
As with all things, allowing each moment to be filled with life’s serendipitous joy is really nothing more than becoming aware.
of the little choices that can propel one forward
and create even more positive choices;
this is one habit that I strive to incorporate in my daily mindset.
This past weekend was spent walking, talking, laughing and enjoying one another’s company.
It was also about sharing a few incredible meals together.
When I am traveling in new places, one of my guilty pleasures is to shop specialty food markets. This fuels my interest in fresh local ingredients and it also teaches me about the prominent food cultures of that area.
The Italian food influence is huge in the area of New Haven, Connecticut.
There you will find top notch “Apizza”, pastry shops, bakeries and Italian deli markets.
Pulling super fresh quality ingredients together is just so easy.
A simple ingredient list of fresh cavatelli, spicy hot Italian sausage, and rapini created a dinner for family and new friends that once again brought happy people to the table.
Fables and Folklore in Old Recipes
The origin of Cavatelli, meaning “little hollows”, was brought to the tables in the Southern region of Italy known as Molise. It’s ancient roots quickly spread to the regions of Puglia, Basilicata, Abruzzo and even the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. True to Italian form, each region has its own special recipe to showcase this unique pasta.
After all, it is one of the oldest pasta shapes!
Cavatelli was originally a peasant dish, fashioned from inexpensive ingredients that were available to the poor families centuries ago. Soon however, this hand shaped pasta became a delicacy prepared by chefs for noble families and banquets.
Cavatelli is more than just a favorite pasta,
it is a plate of deeply held traditions,
seasoned with a passion for old world Italian culture.
Cavatelli with Rapini and Sausage
- 1 bunch rapini (broccoli rabe)
- 1 lb hot Italian sausage
- 5 cloves garlic, minced fine
- 1 lb fresh Cavatelli or Orecchiette (my favorite brand is DeCecco)
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring 3 inches of water to boil in a large covered pasta pot on top of the stove. To this add 3 tablespoons sea salt.
- Blanche the rapini in salted boiling water, covered, for 3-5 minutes, or until the thickest stems just become tender. Drain in a colander and run cold water over the cooked rapini to stop the cooking process. Once it is cool enough to handle, gently squeeze dry and reserve.
- Fill the large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil, adding salt just before cooking the pasta.
- While the water is coming to a boil, in a large frying pan on the stove, sauté the sausage meat, breaking it up as it cooks into small pieces. Once cooked through, put the cooked sausage into a small bowl.
- Using the same large fry pan, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pan along with the drippings from the sausage. On medium heat, add the garlic, red chili flakes, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté until fragrant.
- Add the rapini to the pan, gently pulling apart any large clumps so that all of the rapini is evenly coated in the seasoned olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes and turn the heat down to low.
- Boil the pasta according to package directions, reserving ¾ cups pasta water. Drain the pasta and put it into a large pasta serving bowl. Add the rapini and sausage to the pasta bowl. Mix thoroughly. If it seems dry add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water until a desired consistency is achieved. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and grated pecorino Romano cheese.
- Buon Appetito
I met some really special people along the way and felt very appreciative of the time we all were able to share.
As I have shared before, it is always a great experience for me when I am invited to cook in someone else’s kitchen.
This time was in my beautiful stepdaughters’s Connecticut kitchen.
You will learn more about Alexis @manifestwithalexis on Instagram.
She is talented, an incredible big sister, and one of the most unique women I know.
She sets the standard for knowing how to love unconditionally.
I really can’t get enough of these stunning sunsets on this little lake in Upstate New York.
It is fueling my drive to continue creating and manifesting the life I truly envision myself living.
It is a life filled with purpose and hope, unconditional love and kindness, and strength.
Whenever I feel myself begin to question my life and it’s purpose, I gently remind myself to ask,
“What if it all does work out beyond my wildest dreams?”