Chef Bill Fuller stopped by PTL to show off two delicious pasta recipes that are fast, easy and affordable!

Cavatelli with Rapini, Italian Sausage, Tomatoes, and Fresh Ricotta

  • ¼ C. Olive oil
  • 1 # Loose Italian sausage (you pick spicy or mild)
  • 4 clove Garlic, sliced thinly
  • (1-2 tsp. Red pepper flakes)
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 # Frozen fresh cavatelli
  • 2-3 C. Tomato Sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ C. Fresh ricotta (let come to room temperature)

1. Start a 4 qt. pasta pot. Salt the water to the salinity of blood. Get water near or at a boil before beginning cooking of sausage
2. Heat a large, high-sided skillet. Add olive oil. Crumble sausage into oil and brown. Break up any large chunks with a wooden spoon or large spatula.
3. When sausage is browned, add garlic slices. (If you prefer or if the sausage is mild, add red pepper flakes.)
4. Add tomato sauce to sausage mixture. Bring to a simmer.
5. Add spinach and cook with stirring until spinach is tender.
6. Put cavatelli in boiling water. Let cook until it floats and then just a minute more.
7. Strain pasta and add to pan. Adjust seasonings.
8. Place in a large, shallow pasta bowl. Arrange daps of ricotta across the surface. Serve immediately.

Gnocchi with Kale, Cauliflower, Chicken, and Currants

  • 4 ea. Whole chicken thighs
  • 2-4 Sprigs. Fresh thyme
  • ½ C. White wine
  • 1 pint Chicken stock
  • ¼ C. Olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. Red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 ea. Cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 # Fresh Lacinato kale
  • 1/2 C. Dried currants
  • 1 # Fresh gnocchi (frozen)
  • ¼ C. Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 325º
2. Heat a large, high sided skillet. Season chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper. Sear, skin side down, until the skin is well-browned. Turn legs and brown the second side.
3. Place whole thyme sprigs over chicken. Deglaze with white wine. Add chicken stock to cover. Place in oven and cook until thigh meat is tender, about 45 minutes.
4. Remove and allow to cool. When cooled, remove liquid and reserve. Separate meat from bones and reserve.
5. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil, pepper flakes and garlic. After a few seconds, add kale and toss. Season with salt and pepper, add currants, and cook with tossing for 5 minutes or so. Add reserved chicken.
6. While the kale is cooking place gnocchi in pot of boiling salted water. When done, drain and add to rapini mixture in pan. Place pasta pan over heat, add a little of the chicken braising liquid, and bring to a simmer.
7. Serve in pasta bowls with crusty bread, top with Parmesan, and serve with crust bread