Monday, September 22, 2008

Quick Weekend Pasta

Leonetto Cappiello

I’m a sucker for pasta. I can eat it with just about anything. Give me linguine with seafood, give me fettuccine Alfredo, give me penne with sauteed broccoli rabe, give me rigatoni Bolognese, give me ... well, I can go on and on with this list forever. I simply love it all. Just picture me as the harlequin in the vintage ad above -- so buoyant and ecstatic over a heaping plate of pasta.
As I was packing for our return home from Greece earlier this month, my husband’s parents, aunt and uncle were bombarding me with things they thought I should bring back. Among the olives, honey, oregano, chamomile, almonds, pistachios and raisins were also bags of pasta made by his aunt’s neighbor. As I’ve never gotten around to making my own pasta--although I have bought fresh pasta from a great Italian store in our neighborhood--I graciously accepted the homemade goods and tucked them safely away in my duffel.
The pasta were flat, wide, wavy three- to four-inch long pieces that worked well with this sausage and porcini mushroom cream sauce I paired them with this weekend. The Italian sausage I used was made with broccoli rabe and Parmesan, which added another depth of flavor to the dish as well.

I'm submitting this dish to Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast, creator and this week's host of Presto Pasta Nights.

Pasta with a Sausage and Porcini Mushroom Sauce
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 Italian sausage links
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ oz. dried Porcini mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, rinsed over and blanched 2 tablespoons sherry
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 pound of pasta
½ cup pasta cooking liquid
Chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Remove sausage from casings and add to hot skillet, breaking it up into smaller chunks with a wooden spoon as you go. Once the sausage has browned, add the garlic and mushrooms and saute for a minute more. Add sherry and deglaze the pan.

Meanwhile cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water. Before straining the pasta, remove ½ cup of cooking liquid and add to the sausage mixture. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer until sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a couple of spoonfuls of sauce to pasta and toss to coat.
Top individual portions of pasta with sausage and mushroom sauce just before serving and sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated cheese.


Peter M said...

This does sound like a flavourful and qucick dish. I'll have to give it a go.

Ivy said...

Maria, lovely recipe. I guess you are talking about hilopites? I'm glad you found out about Presto Pasta Nights. I was going to tell you about the events at a later stage.

Peter G said...

Love the flavour combination of this Maria. Great job with the hilopites!

Maria said...

Thank you all for visiting my site and for your kind words -- I'm so happy I have some frequent visitors!

Ivy said...

I am glad seeing that both Peters and commenting on your blog. I am sure you will be getting more soon. Today I did a post on an adopted blogger (from the adopt a blogger program) and soon I will make the post I promised you. If you like you can also join that program later on. About hilopites, you may read my post about this.

Ruth Daniels said...

Lucky you to get such great care packages and lucky us for sharing your dish with Presto Pasta Nights.