Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rigatoni with Sausage and Wine-Truffle Sauce

Jim is still away, so I've been struggling to make Romantic Dinners for Me. This is a great dish, and you can really make it to order.

I don't have a quirky story for this one. It's a go-to recipe. My mom made a variation of it all the time at home, and I basically ran with it. It's easy to make, tastes fabulous, and people usually love it. It's wonderful fresh, and just as good left-over. There is a lot of depth of flavor, and you can play around with what you put into it. GO!

Rigatoni with Fennel Sausage and Wine-Truffle Sauce
1 package of Sweet Sausage (with Fennel Seeds)
1 bunch Fresh Asparagus
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 tblsp Butter
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
1 medium Shallot, sliced thin -- against the grain
1 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Truffle Oil

1 lb Rigatoni, cooked al dente -- save 1/2 cup pasta water before draining

Preheat oven to 350*F

1) Cook sausage on a sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You don't want to cook them all the way through, you just want them to firm up. It's okay if they're a little pink on the inside. This makes it easier to cut them.

2) Remove sausage, place asparagus on the same pan (whatever grease came from the sausage will cook the asparagus). Cook for 10 minutes -- they should be slightly softened, but still firm, and bright green.

3) Cut the sausage in to 1/2-inch pieces. Quarter the asparagus, disposing of the last quarter (the thick stem).

4) In a saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots, cook until they are soft and begin to caramelize.

5) Add the sausage in one layer, brown each side.

6) De-glaze the pan with white wine. Add pasta water, chicken stock, and truffle oil. The starch in the pasta water will help the sauce thicken. Let this cook down for 5 minutes or so until it begins to thicken.

7) Add the whole cherry tomatoes and pasta to the pot, cover and cook until the tomatoes burst. Stir occasionally to make sure that the pasta is coated and cooking... about 5-7 more minutes.

* If your sauce seems to be cooking down too fast, you can alternate adding more liquid to it. The chicken stock will add some body to the sauce, the wine will thin it if it gets too thick.

8) Once the tomatoes burst, gently squish them down so that they break a little bit. Add the asparagus, stir, and let all of the flavors settle for a minute.

9) Serve it up in a big pasta bowl! Have some freshly grated parmesan cheese to top it off.

This dish is such a home run. It's great because it's easy to adjust the quantity, so you can make it for two, or twenty! You could even go nuts and serve it with the Roasted Garlic Bruschetta. Try it my way, and play around and see how YOU like it!

1 comment:

Dan's Fi-ver said...

Sounds lovely...I'll be trying this! I too have Crohn's and enjoy my food - so I'm glad I found your blog!