Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fettuccine with Spicy Sausage, Spinach and Heirloom Tomatoes en Pink Peppercorn Fennel Olio d'Oliva







     A Nice Summer Afternoon Pasta!
     Is this just another "throw some ingredients together and hope for the best" kind of pasta?  Not really!  Today's Italian style pasta recipe is a simple café style summer afternoon pasta that promotes the use of heirloom tomatoes.  It is nothing fancy and the sauce is just a traditional Italian olive oil sauce.  Even so, today's pasta still has to be cooked to perfection, in order to please guests!
     Why Heirloom Tomatoes?  Organic heirloom tomatoes are fast becoming popular everywhere.  Nobody wants to deal with inorganic GMO gas house tomatoes that taste like cardboard anymore.  Because the demand for great tomatoes has increased, consumers are now demanding better produce market vegetables all across the board.
     Apparently plenty of people worldwide have the same concerns about food as I do.  One does not have to be victimized by companies that only have a goal of controlling mankind by controlling the food supply.  Consumers can control the food chain with the money they spend.  A dollar spent on organic sustainable food helps to promote an alternative healthy food supply.
     Locally grown heirloom tomatoes are now featured in two Southwestern restaurants that I recently worked in.  Modern restaurant now use sustainability as a marketing tool, but the main reason why heirloom tomatoes are used is flavor.  Heirloom tomatoes simply are better tasting that mass produced commercial tomatoes!

     *This entire recipe yields 1 portion of pasta!
  
     Spicy Italian Sausage:
     Place a 5 to 6 ounce Spicy Italian Sausage on a roasting pan that is lightly brushed with vegetable oil.
     Roast the sausage in a 325ºF oven till it is fully cooked and lightly browned.
     Allow the sausage to cool to room temperature.
     Cut the sausage into 3/16" thick slices and set them aside.

     Fettuccine with Spicy Sausage, Spinach and Heirloom Tomatoes en Pink Peppercorn Fennel Olio d'Oliva:
     The ingredients for the sauce can be cooked in the same amount of time that it takes to cook the pasta.  This is how it is done by chefs in Italian restaurants that cook dried pasta to order.  If you prefer a more relaxed cooking pace, then cook the pasta ahead of time. 
     Step 1:  Start cooking 1 portion of fettuccine pasta in boiling water over high heat.  (The rest of the ingredients can be cooked while the pasta boils!)
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of pomace olive oil.
     Add 2 chopped garlic cloves.
     Sauté till the garlic starts to turn a golden color.
     Step 3:  Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.  
     Add the reserved spicy sausage.
     Briefly sauté till the onions start to turn translucent.
     Step 4:  Add 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped fresh heirloom tomato of your choice.  (An Heirloom Beefsteak Tomato was used to make the pasta in the photos.)
     Add 2 pinches of ground fennel seed.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of coarse ground Brazilian Pink Peppercorns.
     Add 1 small pinch of crushed dried red pepper.
     Add sea salt to taste.
     Sauté till the tomatoes start to become tender.
     Step 5:  Add 2 cups of baby spinach leaves.
     Sauté and toss till the spinach starts to wilt.
     Step 6:  Add 2/3 cup of chicken broth.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Simmer and reduce, till most of the chicken broth evaporates.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     *Check the pasta!  If the pasta is not close to being ready, then turn the sauté pan heat off.
     Step 7:  When the pasta is al dente, drain the water off of the pasta.
     Add the pasta to the ingredients in the sauté pan.
     Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 8:  Use a long tine carving fork to mound the pasta on a plate.
     Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Parmigiana Cheese over the pasta.
     Sprinkle 2 pinches of chopped curly leaf parsley over the pasta.
     Garnish with a curly parsley sprig.

     A nice quick café style Italian olive oil pasta!

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