Thursday 15 December 2005

pork and fen·nel sau·sage rotelle

Sometimes pasta needs a bit of a revamp. We make pasta, generally spaghetti, with a tomato sauce most weeks. But sometimes one wants something different. I often think a non-tomato based pasta dish would be good, and I have had success with a green vegetable and feta type concoction, but still I think there might be more to this. Bolognese is another and much more substantial option, but altogether heavier and not very suited to the summer we are almost having.
I know that sausage isn't generally thought of as being a light option, but when the BBQ comes to mind sausages do become a summer and therefore a not so heavy option.
A world of sausages is opening up to us in Wellington at the moment. We do have a strong British heritage, so why haven't our sausages been better until now? I have friends who make their own sausages, ordering the casings from the butcher and using their Kenwood Chef with the sausage attachment to fill the skins with their fabulous, and very tasty, mixtures. But why don't more of us do this? I do not have a sausage-skin-filling-machine, although it is on my wishlist, therefore filling the skins is so much harder. Filling a plastic wrap tube with minced meat is not the same. But luckily many butchers are making damn good sausages now.
This evening I made pasta with pork and fennel sausage like this :
Fry some chopped garlic and dried chilli in olive oil until soft. Add the sausage meat that has been squeezed out of the skins of some flavourful sausages (I used about 8 Italian style pork and fennel) and fry until golden. Add a can (400g) of chopped Italian tomatoes. Simmer while you cook the pasta. I used 500g of rotelle, which is the early-settler-wagon-wheel style. Drain the pasta, pouring a wee bit of the cooking water into the sausage-tomato sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, adding a bit of cream and some chopped parsley. Stir the drained pasta through the sauce and serve in large bowls with parmesan on top.

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