I woke up the other day just completely wiped out from the Christmas madness and not in the mood for any type of holiday related food. I was going to be alone with the kids all evening so I wasn’t in the mood to make anything complicated either. To tell you the truth I had no energy to do much of anything so I handed my standard “alone with the kids” cookbook over to my daughters and said,”Here, you tell me what we’re eating for supper tonight.” I do things like that cause I am stupid. So basically my morning consisted of 37 minutes of my kids arguing about what we’re going to eat while I suck back as many double espressos I can to help dull the pain but yet not get to the point of having heart palpitations. It is a fine line when it comes to that and it turns out that 4 double espressos is one too many. BUT MAN AM I FLYING!!
Ok so what the hell was I talking about? Oh ya, my kids picking what dinner we’re having. My kids are little weirdos and neither of them really like tomato sauce so naturally they have, after some yelling, a bit of wrestling, and a flying armbar attempt from the 4 year old, decided to make a pasta dish with a tomato sauce. Why do I do this to myself? My only hope is that they’ll be more willing to eat it since they are the ones who chose it. This Jamie Oliver recipe is based on northern Italian cuisine and is a simple butter, tomato, basil and balsamic sauce. I am a tweaker so a twoke this one as I often do. I added a few things and used more cheese than he did cause that’s just how I roll yo.
2 Pints of cherry or grape tomatoes-halved-Oliver calls for 1.5
6 Ounces grated parmesan cheese-Oliver calls for 4
8 to 12 mini sausages-My own brilliant addition
1 Bunch of fresh basil
4 Cloves of garlic
1/4 Cup of balsamic vinegar
1 Bottle of white wine-Another brilliant addition
1 Pack of pappardelle pasta
2 Hunks of butter
2 tbsps of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
I’ve used this book so much and tried so many of the recipes that I’ve come to know how to adapt his pasta dishes to my tastes. I can tell by looking at this one that it will likely turn out a bit dry so I add a bit of extra tomatoes, some extra cheese and some wine. Also, I love the combination of tomato and sausage so I figure why the hell not? Plus my kids like sausages too and like I said, they are usually not keen on tomato sauce. Whatever helps. I just don’t want a huge struggle at dinner since I am spent from the last few days. Alright, first thing to do is preheat the oven to 375f and line a baking sheet with tin foil and lay the cocktail weenie style sausages on there. Haha, lay the weenies, that one wrote itself. I found some bacon and cheddar mini sausages so these should be sexy in the pasta. Next set a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Ok, oven preheated? Pop the sausages in there. They shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes or so. Flip the weenies halfway through so they get nice and firm on both sides. Cause who can’t use a firm weenie once in a while right? Hey! I am talking about the food alright! This is an article about cooking with kids! You should be ashamed of yourselves! Anyway, remove them from the oven when done and set them aside.
Whilst your water gets to boiling halve the tomatoes, remove the basil leaves from the stalks, and finely slice the garlic and chop the basil stalks. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in pan on medium high heat. Add the garlic to the pan and stay alert here people! As soon as the garlic begins to brown the slightest bit add the butter. Once the butter fully melts add the basil stalks, the tomatoes and half of the basil leaves. Alright, you gotta be quick here so pay attention. Let that stuff cook in the pan for about 45 seconds and while that’s happening open the wine and measure out 1/4 cup. Take the rest of the bottle and suck it back with reckless abandon. Feel free to burp triumphantly. Now add the 1/4 cup of vinegar and the 1/4 cup of wine to the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once it starts to bubble you can reduce the heat and toss in the sausages.
Your pasta should be just about done now so go ahead and strain it but please remember to keep about a cup of the water from it in case the pasta looks dry once assembled. Now toss the pasta in the sauce and add most of the cheese at this point too and make sure it all gets mixed around real good.
I can see it still looks a bit dry to me, I like my pasta nice and loose(ya that’s right), so I add the reserved pasta water and give it another good toss. I excel at tossing it if you must know. I’m loving the colours of this dish and the combination of flavors is making for a nice mouth watering aroma.
The rest is really simple, plate your pasta and add some crushed chili if you like a bit of zip. If I wasn’t serving it to my kids I would have added one or two fresh ones into the sauce but my kids are wusses so that isn’t an option for me. Add the rest of the parmesan and garnish with the rest of the basil leaves.
And now the part I am best at, stuffing my phat face. My assumption that the sausage would work well with the tomato was bang on but not surprising. But I am impressed with how well the balsamic really works with the meat too. Having some butter in this gives it a nice creamy smooth balance too.
One thing to note is that pappardelle pasta are some wide as hell noodles and they can absorb a ton of the liquid. Eating it right away is fine but if you are planning on having leftovers for lunch the next day you might want to work with a different pasta. Maybe go for some penne or straight up spaghetti or something. Whatever floats your boat. I know I repeat myself alot but this is yet another one that can be changed easily to suit your tastes. You can cube up some pancetta and fry it or some slices of classic bacon instead of the sausage. Or do it the Oliver way with no meat at all if you feel like it. Try different types of tomatoes or add onions. Whatever you like. Speaking of like….
I know my kids well and I know for a 100% fact that they are not going to like this. So they try it and of course I am totally wrong, they seem to like it quite a bit. Or as the youth these days say, I am totes wrong. Damn I’m hip.
I know nothing.