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.