We are in the transitional season. Not quite full on fall, but summer vacation is definitely over. This is a nice, hearty pasta with flavors that bridge that gap between summer and fall. Stone ground mustard provides a nice tang and texture, but the hit of the bright yellow version deepens the mustard flavor. The honey adds a subtle sweetness that pairs well with the meaty kielbasa. And I love the little scoops of orecchiette because they cradle the sauce, sweet onions and chunky sausage in their hollows, creating perfectly balanced bites, but you could certainly use ziti or fusilli or a pasta of your choice.
Kielbasa Pasta with Honey Mustard Sauce
1 pound kielbasa
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
¾ pound orecchiette pasta
3 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons stone ground mustard
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop the kielbasa into bite sized cubes. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook the kielbasa until browned and cooked through. I like to use a large pan that will fit the pasta when it is cooked. Transfer the kielbasa to paper towels to drain.
Cook the orecchiette in a large pot of well-salted water according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and toss with one Tablespoon of the butter to prevent sticking.
Add the chopped onions to the oil and fat in the pan and stir to coat. When the onions begin to soften, add 1 cup of water, cover the pan and simmer until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking and add more water as needed. When the onions are a nice toffee brown, uncover the pot and simmer until the liquid is evaporated. Stir the onions into the cooked pasta.
Melt the remaining two Tablespoons butter in the sauté pan. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Slowly add the broth and milk, whisking constantly until thick and creamy. Stir in the mustards and honey and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes until thick and hot through.
Stir the pasta, onions and kielbasa together and add to the sauce. Stir to coat thoroughly and cook over medium low until heated through. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
Serves 4 – 6