If you love pasta, you may agree that it is easy to fall into habits where you end up preparing the same dishes with almost ritualistic regularity. We all have our favourite pasta dishes, but if you want to expand your repertoire to include another relatively quick meal, with an added twist of originality, then try this.
Good quality pork sausage meal is skinned and tossed into pasta, baby leaf spinach and garlic bread croutons. The mashed up pork and crunchy bread keeps the dish alive with texture. The distinctive flavour of fennel is very characteristic of an Italian dish of this kind. Fennel can be overwhelming, in this dish it is very subdued.
We enjoyed our pasta with a glass of Valpolicella Ripasso wine from Waitrose (£10.44) a strong flavour with ripe red berry undertones and vegetable.
- 175g pasta
- 125g Pork sausages, skins removed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
- 75g Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 crusty rolls or 75g crusty bread cut into 1cm dice
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 60g baby spinach leaves
- 50g sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 175ml dry Italian red wine
- Boil your pasta according to packet instructions.
- Sauté the sausage meat for 6 minutes until brown.
- Whilst the sausage meat cooks, heat olive oil in another pan, add 1/3 of the garlic with the cubes of bread and oregano. Fry the bread until you have golden coloured croutons.
- Once the meat has browned, remove from the pan into a large bowl
- Add the onions and 2/3 of the garlic to the pan and fry gently for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly brown. Add the red wine to the onion to deglaze the pan and simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Add the onion mixture to the sausage meat.
- Add the spinach, fennel, sun dried tomatoes, a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Stir until the spinach has slightly wilted.
- Stir the sausage mixture into the pasta with 2 tablespoons of the cooking water to add texture.
- Serve in a pasta dish and top with the croutons and grated cheese.
|Wine Paring||Waitrose Ripasso di Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Fratelli Recchia 2008 Veneto, Italy
(£10.44 from Waitrose)
A positively dry red with clearly defined red fruits and vegetable notes coming through the mid palate. There is also a dash of spice that held together beautifully with the fennel in the sauce.