Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A great pasta dish

This great pasta is a Patricia Wells recipe. Not found by me but found by Mary at One Perfect Bite. It's a great pasta dish and is a grown up version of the dish that my mother fixed so often in my childhood known as goulash. Sauteed hamburger and onion, a can of tomatoes or tomato paste and either spaghetti or macaroni.

This version has sweet Italian sausage, fusilli, a little bit of tomato paste and wine. The egg finish adds another layer of flavor.

As I made this sophisticated version of goulash, I thought of my mother and how her goulash was an economical way to feed two growing children with probably a half pound of hamburger and lots of macaroni!

I've not made goulash in a long time but my first forkful of this recipe brought back all those childhood memories.

Thank you Mary.

Fusilli with Fennel, Sausage and Chianti

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed, broken into small pieces
1 to 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
3 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste (from a tube)
2 cups Chianti or other dry red wine
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons kosher salt + salt to taste
1 pound dried fusilli or penne
About 1 cup pasta cooking water

1) Heat olive oil in a very large skillet until it shimmers. Add sausage and brown. Stir in fennel seeds and tomato paste; blend well. Bring to a simmer; cook for 2 minutes to blend flavors. Add the wine; simmer, uncovered, until most of the wine cooks off, about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
2) Place the eggs in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Whisk in the cheese and a generous grinding of pepper. Set aside.
3) Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Stir in 3 tablespoons salt and the fusilli. Cook until tender but firm, about 9 to 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
4) Add the pasta to the skillet containing the sausage meat. Toss to coat fusilli with sauce. Remove pan from heat. Pour in egg mixture. Working quickly, toss pasta with two forks to incorporate eggs and coat each piece of fusilli with the egg mixture. If the pasta appears dry add pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, to create a smooth, clinging sauce. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


Mary Bergfeld said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It's a wonderful recipe to have in one's bag of tricks.

Cathy said...

This does look like a great pasta dish! Perfect weeknight meal -- and that's what I need more of. My whole family would eat this, and it takes a special kind of recipe to get that to happen!

Anonymous said...

I must try this! My boys will love it.