Sunday, February 25, 2007

An Oscar Party Dinner

OK, so my blogging resume said that I'd post a recipe now and then, and, as a favorite recipe blogger of mine is down and out, I thought I'd post a dish I made the other night. Given that it's a wee bit cold here in Flagstaff, a hearty meal does one good, and it fills you up enough to just veg on the couch and suffer the acceptance speeches without any damage. It should serve 4 folks with some leftover for lunches during the week, and it'll run you about $15 for all the ingredients (not counting the wine - have your guests bring that!), depending on your cupboard status.

I call it the Meaty Italian Pasta Dish. My girlfriend just likes to hear me say 'Meaty Italian'.

  • 2 boxes of pasta (I prefer a penne and mostaccioli mix; rigatoni is good too)
  • 1 package of mild or sweet italian sausage (5 sausages or so)
  • 1 package of proscuitto (about 5-6 slices or so; or more if you love it)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 package of pre-cut shrooms (yes, I'm lazy)
  • 1 - 3 tablespoons of garlic (to your taste)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons of white, yellow, or green onion (again to your preference)
  • About 2/3 of a six-ounce can of tomato paste (so 4 ounces)
  • About 3/4 of a half-pint of heavy whipping cream (to mix)
  • 3/4 cup red wine (and a good one, dammit!)
  • Spices: sweet basil (1 Tbsp), crushed anise (1/2 Tsp), a sprinkle of oregano, 1 bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese for topping (your choice).
  • Olive oil. As needed, just to keep the sausage from sticking to the pan.
My girlfriend cut up some sopprassetta into small chunks which we also incorporated into this meal; however it's optional unless you want this dish to be the Italian Pork Extravaganza...

Prep (15 minutes unless you're screwing around):
  • Slice the proscuitto into about nickle-sized pieces (I know it's difficult to do because the proscuitto's so thin, but quit whining)
  • Slide the sausages out of their casings, so you have a big skillet of snausage.
  • Chop the onion. Don't cry. Be an Iron Chef.

Cooking (25 minutes):
  • Start cooking the sausage in all the spices in olive oil (low to medium) and add the garlic after about 5 minutes. This should cook for 10-12 minutes.
  • Simultaneously, start boiling the water for the pasta.
  • After 10-12 minutes, start cooking the pasta (follow package directions, but usually about 10-11 minutes for al dente pasta from a box).
  • After about six minutes (of pasta time) add the proscuitto, shrooms, onions and wine to the sausage. Turn the heat up to med-high or high depending on your stove. Let simmer for 5 minutes, and turn heat to warm.
  • Add tomato paste and whipping cream to the sausage mix. Stir well, until creamy.

Immediately toss all the meat with the cooked pasta and the cheese. Bag lettuce and some garlic bread go very, very well.

Wines: Decent red table - Two Brothers, Big Tattoo Red is perfect. Or, if you're a whitey, a crisp and very cold Chateau St. Michelle chardonnay.

Remember to add/vary any of these for even more taste: eggplant, zukes, chicken/veal/even seafood is possible.

Bon appetit, and here's hoping the best actor(s) win!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dang, I'll be over 'round dinner time. If I can find a bottle of "Used Auto Parts" (a fine red wine).