Friday, February 3, 2012

Peasant Pasta

You hear the term "peasant" in Italian cooking very often. In fact, you hear it in many cultures' cuisines.  What comes to mind for me usually is Puttanesca sauce - which has a bit of a sordid lore associated with it (think ladies of the night) but is fantastic and simple.  But this evening's recipe is a Rachael Ray recipe simply called "Peasant Pasta".

I opted for this recipe simply because I didn't have a lot of ingredients on hand (see, the peasant notion is coming through already).  I did, though, have a surprising amount of frozen hot Italian and sweet Italian sausages on hand.  Doesn't everyone?  A quick search online - and bada bing bada boom I found the perfect recipe.

What I like about Rachael Ray recipes is they are always straight forward and relatively specific.  For example, it says clearly to brown the meat then deglaze.  I know for sure if it just said cook the meat I wouldn't have browned it and missed the incredible resulting aroma. 

I also like that they give a bit of context to the steps.  For example adding the cream reduces the acidity of the tomatoes - yes I already knew that, but at one time I wouldnt' have known that so for that I'm appreciative.  I could also go on about the cream here as it's one of those ingredients that I absolutely adore.  For me it's like butter, there is no substitute.  Balance is important, but every now and then you have to indulge and skimping on low-fat icky stuff just isn't worth it.  Go for the cream.  Savour it. Enjoy it.    (oops, I guess I did go on about the cream afterall)

This is a wonderfully satisfying meal.  It's different from many meat based dishes because it's all Italian sausage so it's also a nice variation.  And back to the cream, it finishes it perfectly and makes a balanced lovely dish. 

You can find this recipe at the Food Network site below:

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