Everyone should have an extending joke fork...

...to save the day when cooking hot sausage-zucchini pasta!

After a wonderful trans-atlantic chat with Mandounette this afternoon, I went to Chelsea Market, where I was inspired to pick up the ingredients for one of my favorite dishes. An extension of one of my childhood vegetable favorites (my mom's zucchini sautéed with olive oil, onions and Sicilian capers--the ones packed in salt), I add whatever I'm in the mood for to create a pasta dish--sometimes chicken, sometimes fresh herbs, etc. My Sicilian side is always in the mood for sausage, so today I decided to pick up a pound of hot sausage from Buon Italia (I prefer Espositio's on 9th Ave. and 38th, but they're closed on Sundays, so I went with what I could get, which turned out to be pretty good, too).

It's a relatively easy dish to prepare (and ended up being its usual yummy self), but while I was balancing its various ingredients in spots throughout my teeny kitchen, I managed to dump lots of the zucchini onto the floor between the stove and the wall. Great... Thank God for the bottle of wine I'd picked up and my magically-extending joke fork.

Hot Sausage-Zucchini Pasta

1 lb. hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 lb zucchini, sliced
1 medium-sized onion, sliced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Sicilian capers (the ones packed in salt, not brine)
1 tbsp. pesto
olive oil
1 lb pasta of your choice

Cook the pasta as you prepare the following:

Sauté garlic in olive oil for a few seconds, then add sausage until cooked, breaking it up into chunks as you go. Add the onion, cook for about 1 minute, then add the zucchini, capers, and pesto. Cover, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is almost cooked. Add drained pasta and toss to coat. Serve with freshly-ground black pepper and freshly-grated Parmesan.

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