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Passport Pasta

Yields1 ServingPrep Time15 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time35 mins

Not your traditional red-sauced high-carb pasta. But a chickpea alternative. And flavored instead with harissa … North African red chile paste. And sausaged with lamb (I used spicy Italian sausage instead … but the sausage possibilities are endless). Eat it up ... FOR REAL!

passport pasta

 1 tsp caraway seeds
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 1 tbsp olive oil
 12 oz merquez sausage (I used Spicy Italian)
 1 medium onion, chopped (I used fennel)
 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I microplaned them)
 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
 1 tbsp harissa paste (use less if you're spicy-sensitive)
 kosher salt, freshly-ground black pepper
 8 oz lumaconi or other medium shells (I used the Banza shells)
 3 oz feta, crumbled (or use Dairy Free cheese; about 1/2 cup)

Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Grind caraway and cumin seeds in a spice mill or a mortar and pestle. Set aside.


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage until browned all over but still pink in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cool slightly. Slice into 1-inch pieces.


Add onion to same skillet and cook, stirring often, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and reserved spices. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing, and juices, then harissa. Cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente (about 3 minutes less than package directions; it will be very firm in the center). Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.


Add sausage, pasta, and cooking liquid to skillet; toss to coat. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish, top with feta (or Dairy Free cheese), and bake until top is browned and juices are bubbling, 18 to 22 minutes.

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