Chatelaine Kitchen

Getting settled in

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Fall is officially here… And I am finally settling in a little bit (I know, I know, it’s been here for a while now). As I’m sure you can tell from my recent posts, the last couple of months have been very eventful for me . I’m not complaining, but I’m happy to relax a little. I’ve used this downtime to do a bit of seasonal cleaning and to get back to basics in the kitchen. So I made pasta on Thursday night. I love carbs! I made a version of our Sausage and Tomato Ragout from the November issue.    

 

While the sauce was simmering I put the pasta on to cook. I really like to give the sauce a little extra time when I use hot sausages – it mellows out that hot-hot spice (that sometimes comes with a burning sensation) but still adds so much flavour to the sauce.

 

 

 

My last flourish for this pasta is Cambazola cheese: it’s a combo of Camembert and Gorgonzola. It’s great for pasta because it adds a bit of creaminess and lots of lovely, and subtle, blue-cheese flavour. I was feeling extra cheesy (so this was the perfect grub to tuck into while watching some cheesy t.v. – I admit it I was timing dinner so it would be ready in time for me to catch Grey’s).

 

 

 Above is a shot of the finished dish. I took a picture before I added the Parmesan because I knew once I did… you wouldn’t be able to see the pasta anymore.

 

I’ve been craving broccoli lately, so I had some lingering in the fridge. My tip is to use the stalks too. I just peel the tough exterior, then thinly slice them. Then I added them to the pasta for the last couple minutes of cooking. The stalks add that bit of extra crunch; Plus I feel good because there’s less waste. Reducing food waste is an important part of cooking that sometimes forget when I’m in a hurry to get dinner on the table. Below is a photo of the stalks in progress, they’re already peeled and I’m in the middle of slicing them.

 

It s similar to a recipe that I’ve been making for years, but I always add a new twist; usually just so I can use up the extra vegetables in my fridge. This time I added shiitake mushrooms to the mix. I like them in this kind of pasta because they give the dish an even meatier texture. I added them once the sausage was crumbled and cooked. The sausage I used was a hot chorizo (the raw kind). Then I added the wine. I know almost nothing about wine so I picked up a 2005 French Bordeaux because I  hear they’re always a safe bet. This one was lovely, but I can’t remember the name. It was nice enough to enjoy sipping and cheap enough to feel fine about cooking with it. My rule for cooking with wine is: always use something that you would drink (even if it is plunk) because the flavour always shines through.

 

Here’s the finished sauce. (I just love steamy food shots—everything looks tastier when it’s steaming hot.)

 

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