HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Italian Sausage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italian Sausage. Show all posts

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rigatoni with Hot Sausage and Fennel from Gourmet Magazine


First Issue of Gourmet, January 1941
         How we still miss Gourmet!  Some of my earliest childhood memories are listening to my father reading aloud as he and my mother ate vicariously at Gourmet’s table.  The magazine first appeared in 1941.  The United States entered the war shortly thereafter.  Subscribers were urged to keep their issues until the war ended. That way Gourmet’s readers could try the recipes without wartime rationing. While devoted to food and wine, Gourmet also covered “Good Living” which meant that many of my parent’s annual vacations were built around Gourmet’s take on Madrid or Lisbon or London. As to its recipes, while the country wallowed in dishes involving cans of cream of mushroom soup, Gourmet took the high road. I can still hear my father reading, on the subject of Peking Duck, “first wring the bird by its neck until it is dead”.  Gourmet was nothing if not complete.  In many ways, Gourmet was well ahead of its time.  This was driven home to me with this take on pasta from 1990.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baked Penne with Sausage, Mozzarella and Tomatoes from the Galley of Gillian Duffy



         There are certain recipes I obsess over.  I have folder marked “Re-Visit” and in it there must be at least five recipes for baked pasta dishes.  They all are fundamentally the same.  The pasta is cooked and then a sauce is mixed into it, cheese is added to it and tops it and the whole thing goes into a hot oven for 15 or 10 minutes. In my imagination, it emerges with cheese bubbling up from under a crisp brown Parmesan crust.  The incredibly rich cream sauce coats the pasta which is laden with the flavor of sausage or meatballs, pork or beef.  That’s how I imagine it until reality takes over: Dried pasta sticks up out of a bare covering of cheese. Inside the sauce is non-existent and were it not for the meat, it would hardly be worth eating. This has been going on for years. 
         Then finally, in the most unimaginable place I found Baked Pasta Nirvana.  In this recipe, luscious ripe tomatoes in big chunks are mixed with slices of sweet Italian sausage.  The pasta, tomatoes and sausage come together in a creamy b├ęchamel sauce.  And an entire layer of Mozzarella, hidden bang in the middle of the dish, pulls on your fork like mozzarella in a pizza commercial.  I did use the very last of the fresh tomatoes when I made this dish.  But I discovered that canned plum tomatoes, drained of their liquid and cut into large chunks are an admirable replacement and put this dish within reach year ‘round.  And where did this amazing dish come from?  Why, Departures magazine!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sausages and Potato Ragout a la Jacques Pepin



         I wish you had seen the look on Andrew’s face when he asked what was for dinner and I told him “Sausages and Potatoes”.  Was that a sneer or a recoiling?  Was he horrified or merely surprised?  You see, I had just that day received my copy of “Essential Pepin” (Houghton Mifflin 2011), the 700 recipe volume that caps the illustrious career of one the great ‘pioneers’ of good cooking in this country, Jacques Pepin.  Surely, Andrew must have thought, you could do better than this, especially for a first choice in this incredible collection.  Surely in a book that features virtually every French classic and an amazingly broad range of recipes representing Asia, India, China-- I could have found something more profound than sausage and potatoes.  But it was a winter night and I’d espied some beautiful fresh Italian sausages at the market that day.  And the whole dish looked amazingly easy.