Friday, 2 August 2013

Italian sausage pasta

Sausage and me. Now there's a match made in meat heaven. I'm talking about a proper, meaty, quality banger over here - be it a pork sausage made by a North Yorkshire butcher, spicy and herby lamb merguez picked up at a Tunisian market, the chorizo that the Spanish love so dearly or those rustic Italian salsiccias I've been raving about already before.

And when you combine sausage with pasta... Then we're getting pretty damn close to a happily ever after. No wonder then, that the trip to Hanko ignited a hunger (how is that even possible? After 4 portions of pasta?!) that refused to be satisfied.

Thankfully my regular butcher didn't fail me this time either. Hakkarainen at Hakaniemi market hall had exactly the kind of Italian sausages that had a lovely heat courtesy of fennel and chilli. Otherwise I would have added some ground fennel seeds into the pan with the sausages - pork and fennel are just that great together. Obviously you can use any quality sausage you fancy. A serious food blogger would have whipped up her own sausages, but lacking the machinery, patience and hand-eye-coordination I... didn't. 

As great as this is, made from roasted tomatos, I decided to give roasted peppers a go. And they work wonders with pasta too!

For three (or two very generous portions)

2-3 portions of pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, linguini)

3 roasted peppers (for instructions see here)
1-2 garlic cloves (depends on the spiciness of your sausages)
1/2 onion
1/2 chilli (again, depends on your sausages and can be omitted if desired)
1 tbsp tomatp concentrate
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pimento/ paprika (sweet)
appr. 1 tbsp butter/ oil
4 good sausages (à 60-70 g)
a bunch of basil

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packet. 

Roast peppers. Sauté finely chopped onion, garlic and chilli in a pan in a little bit of oil/ butter. Add pimento.

Blizz these in a blender together with peppers and tomato concentrate to a smooth puré. Add some water/ vegetable stock if needed (I had roasted mine already the day before so the liquid that had seeped out of them was enough).

Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casing to nuggets the size of small meatballs. Sauté in a pan and add a bit of oil/ butter if needed.

Once they have a nice colour, pour in the pepper puré. Bring to boil, check seasoning and (if needed) add a little sugar. Season and fold in a handful of basil leaves.

Toss in the pasta and serve.

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