Thursday, January 22, 2015

We tried it: Drunken Sausage Pasta from The Cozy Apron

From The Cozy Apron

Pasta is a rare treat these days – what with Kevin’s fairly-strict Paleo diet and my wishy-washy one.  Sure, Suchita and Zach used to indulge – because Suchita had become quite a champ at pasta before she left. Sumitra, who has come in her place, tells me that she, too, knows to cook pasta – so that is a treat for another time.

Anyway, we decided this last weekend would be pasta time. And we started with this absolute cracker of a pasta on Saturday night. It is a robust dish, and went really well with the white wine I was drinking and the mulled rum-and-peach concoction that Kevin was plying Bianca with, under the guise of it being good for her cold.

The star of the dish is, without doubt, the sausage. I thought we had Italian sausage in our freezer (yes, we now have a standalone chest freezer), but it turned out to be German pork sausage – from Gladnor Cold Storage in Chembur. (What’s a quick trip down the freeway to stock a chest freezer?) Still, you could use any sausage, as long as it is a good, charismatic one, and, because it is browned, removed and then added back to the dish at the end, the taste of the meat will be and should be predominant.

The recipe is from The Cozy Apron, where it goes under the title of Saucy, Italian “Drunken” Noodles with Spicy Italian Sausage, Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions and Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, with Fresh Basil.

I doubled the quantities and many third helpings were enjoyed.

Drunken Sausage Pasta
Serves: 4

2 tbsp olive oil (I used less)
4 spicy sausage links, casings removed (I used Alf Farms’ German Pork Sausage)  
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I used Keya)
½ tsp cracked black pepper
3 bell peppers, cored and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
800 g tomatoes, diced (I used less)
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
225 g pasta, uncooked
Place a large, heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high heat. Add olive oil, and, once the oil is hot, crumble the sausage into the pan (I cut it into small chunks), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments. Once browned, remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

To the pan with the sausage drippings, add the sliced onion and cook for five minutes, allowing it to caramelise but not burn.

Once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine.

Add the sliced bell peppers, sauté for two minutes until tender.

Add the minced garlic, and fry till aromatic.

Add the white wine and allow to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced.

Add the diced tomatoes with their juice, and the browned sausage. Gently fold in to combine and allow to gently simmer for about three to four minutes to blend the flavours, then turn the heat off.

Add the parsley and basil, stir and keep warm.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain well and add to the sausage sauce. Check for seasoning.


Proof of the making: the absence of sausage is mysterious

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