Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add pasta to pan, and cook 8 minutes or until almost al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Discard the remaining cooking liquid.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian sausage to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings; drain on paper towels. Add garlic to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pasta to pan; cook 1 minute, tossing to combine. Remove from heat.
Combine about 2 tablespoons cheese and 4 3/4 cups parsley leaves in a food processor; process until finely ground. With motor running, add remaining 1/4 cup cooking liquid and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; process until smooth. Add parsley mixture and salt to pasta; toss well to coat. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 shallow bowls; top evenly with sausage, remaining 2 tablespoons cheese, and remaining 1/4 cup parsley leaves. Serve immediately.
I thought this was a pretty good recipe. I tried it because I had a ton of Italian parsley in my garden that I needed to use. I used turkey sausage instead of pork but overall, a good one. I would make again.
I made this last night, the day I received my August issue in the mail. I didn't have any sausage so used bacon instead and it was delicious. The only issue I had was with the pasta getting cold while I made the pesto, even though I had all the parsley ready to go in the food processor and it does all come together very quickly. I reheated it once the pesto was mixed in. Next time I will not wait for pasta water for the pesto and prepare it before cooking the pasta, using plain water.
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