Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Apparently I like pasta?

I have never been the biggest pasta fan, but after this weekend, it seems that my taste buds have changed! Not sure that's for the better, but. . .

When we got home from our night out on Saturday night, HHS made us a delicious bowl of whole wheat pasta with olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesean cheese. Don't know if it was the beer talking, but it was the best late night food I had eaten in a long time! Hah, thanks HHS. . .

On Sunday night we all went to HLR's family's house outside of DC for the most delicious dinner and absolutely hilarious night. We literally sat at the table from 7 p.m. until almost midnight. LOVE MY FRIENDS ! Ha.

So, back to the dinner. HLR and I helped her mom with Jamie Oliver's Proper Bloke's Sausage Fusilli. (An HLR family favorite!)

We tripled the recipe (there were 8 of us, so that was completely necessary. . .not.), and if we had stayed at the table any longer (or had a bottle or two more of wine), I think we would have polished off the tripled recipe. . .eek! The dish was easy, and perfectly paired with a simple side salad.


• 2 heaped teaspoons fennel seeds
• 2 dried red chilies, crumbled
• olive oil
• 600g good-quality coarse Italian or Cumberland sausages
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• a wineglass of white wine
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 500g good-quality fusilli or penne
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a couple of knobs of butter
• a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Directions (remember these are in Jamie's words. . .):

Bash up the fennel seeds and chilies in a pestle and mortar or flavor Shaker until coarsely crushed, then put to one side. Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Squeeze the meat out of the sausage skins and put into the pan, really breaking it up using the back of a spoon. Fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to color and the fat has rendered slightly, then crush it once more so it resembles coarse mince. Add the bashed-up fennel seeds and chilies and cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes until the meat becomes crisp, golden brown and slightly caramelized.

Stir in your oregano, then pour in the white wine and allow it to reduce by half. Add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the heat down to low while you cook your pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. When the pasta has cooked al dente, drain it in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water, and toss it in the pan with your sausagemeat. Coat the pasta in all the lovely flavors then add the butter, Parmesan, chopped parsley and a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water. This will give you a lovely loose, shiny sauce. Taste and check for seasoning, then serve immediately with a little extra grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.



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