Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tomatoes on Sale!

I love cooking with the freshest ingredients as possible.  Sure, sometimes you can't find a suitable vegetable in the winter, so canned or frozen will have to do.  But it's summertime, and the veggies are abundant.  I happened to find Roma tomatoes on sale this week, so why not a pasta featuring fresh tomatoes.

Now, if you know me or read my posts, you'll know that my husband is a pasta fanatic.  Eats it as much as he can.  But, alas, when I made this pasta, he was out of town.  I actually did get permission to make a pasta without him here.  I had to talk him through some breathing exercises to stop the hyperventilating while he was crying.  Okay, not really.  He was okay with it.  He's a really amazing man and I'm lucky to have him. But don't worry, I saved him the leftovers.

So back to the pasta...to me, there is nothing better than the combination of tomato and basil.  Except, of course, when you throw in some braised Italian sausages and shredded Mozzarella cheese.  That's a perfect combination.  If you've never braised a brat or another type of sausage, I will tell you the yin and yang of it:  the taste is out of this world and the mess it makes will have you pulling your hair out.  The process of it is plumping up the sausages in a skillet filled with cooking liquid.  Then, when the liquid is almost gone, you drizzle in some olive oil and brown up those plump beauties.  It's during the browning stage that the mess happens.  It looks like you've ruined your pan.  But a good soaking in hot soapy water fixes that.  This recipe uses 2 lbs of sausages and six Roma tomatoes.  If you want to cut the recipe in half, I would still use the six tomatoes.  More tomatoes to go around!

I just remembered a funny story.  One time we wanted brats for dinner with sauerkraut.  I didn't have any spicy brats, so I decided to add red chili flakes to the cooking liquid, beer in that case.  When it got to the point where the liquid was almost gone and I started browning the sausages, I started violently coughing.  My husband, in the next room, starting violently coughing.  My son who was in his room started violently coughing.  Apparently I had figured out the recipe for homemade pepper spray!  It was awful!  We had to all run outside and leave the back door open until the air was clear.  Big mistakes happen so innocently.

Anywho, I think you'll enjoy this pasta.  It's not a saucy pasta, but it sure is darn tasty!

Get your gas mask out and let's get cooking!

2 lbs Italian sausage
1/4 C white wine
1 onion, chopped
6 Roma tomatoes, diced
One small package of basil, chopped
Red chili flakes, to taste
1/4 C red wine
1 C shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 lb angel hair pasta
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C Italian parsley, chopped
Olive oil
2 T butter

Cook the pasta according to directions and drain.  Return the pasta to the pot and add in the 2 T butter and drizzle in some olive oil.  Stir with tongs to coat.

For the sausages, put the sausages in a large skillet and add in enough water to come halfway up the sausages.  Add in the 1/4 C white wine. Cook covered, turning occasionally, until most of the liquid is gone. Remove the lid and drizzle in some olive oil.  Cook and turned until they are browned on all sides.  Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

In another skillet, drizzle in some olive oil and cook the onion until tender.  Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook until the wine is reduced.  Add in the tomatoes, garlic, chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook and stir until the tomatoes are softened.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and basil.  Slice the sausages and add them to the tomatoes.  Pour any juice on the sausage plate into the tomatoes.  Stir the tomatoes and sausages into the pasta.  Serve with the shredded Mozzarella on top.

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