Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wild Mushroom and Spicy Sausage Pasta

Mushroom and sausage pastaMushroom and sausage pasta, originally uploaded by beFOODled.

In my twenties, my pasta repertoire consisted of one dish, spaghetti bolognese, which I mastered well enough to make in bulk to last the whole week. Now I have a whole bunch of favourite pasta dishes, but this is the one I make most often, always with a big, crusty rip of garlic bread on the side.

It's a Jamie Oliver recipe from one of his early websites, way back in 2005, and long before Jamie's Italy or Jamie at Home. I love this pasta because it has big, woodsy flavours, like wild mushrooms and thyme, and the spiciest sausage ever made — chorizo!

Wild Mushroom and Spicy Sausage Pasta
Adapted from a recipe in Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef Takes Off
Serves three (two dinners and one lunch)

half an onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
olive oil
2 chorizo sausages, meat removed from the casings
a shaking of chilli flakes
400 grams of mixed wild mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake, torn into pieces
short pasta, such as penne or rigatoni
as many sprigs of fresh thyme as you want, leaves picked
a couple of pats of butter
fresh parsley, chopped
fresh parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve about half a cup of cooking water before draining it.

At the same time, start the pasta sauce. Slit open the sausage casings and take out the meat. Pinch off little knobs of sausage meat with your fingers straight into a frying pan with some olive oil on medium heat. Saute until cooked and set aside.

Pour off most of the sausage fat from the pan but leave behind a half a teaspoon or so for flavour. In the same pan, add more olive oil and fry the onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and fry another couple of minutes. Add the thyme, chilli flakes and the torn mushrooms, and saute until the mushrooms have given up their water and become small. Remove the pan from the heat and season. Loosen the sauce with the butter and a bit of the pasta water when you are ready to combine it with the pasta. Add half of the sauce to the pasta and mix well. Leave the other half for topping.

Ladel the pasta into bowls, top with more sauce, and add the fresh chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread.


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