Pasta with Sausage and Cream (Kalyn’s Kitchen Cooks The Best Recipes in the World)
This is my latest adventure in exploring the cuisines of the world through Mark Bittman’s new book, The Best Recipes in the World
. Once again, Bittman’s book proved to be a winner, and this was a great dish which came together quickly. I used Dreamfield’s pasta
, which made it more South Beach Diet friendly. When I first read this recipe I wasn’t sure what to think because the sausage is actually simmered in cream to cook it, although I used half and half to keep the South Beach Diet police a tiny bit happier. I also cut down the amount of butter and increased the proportion of sausage to pasta, and I could not really see why the meat needed to be simmered in cream AND butter, so I reduced the butter to one tablespoon. Increasing the sausage made sense because it came in a package with 5 links, and having more sausage meant the overall amount of carbs in the dish was lower. When I tasted it, I was even more happy that I had increased the amount of sausage. (You could use turkey sausage if you wanted to decrease the amount of fat, but if so you might need to increase the butter to two tablespoons as the original recipe called for.) Simmering the sausage slowly in the half and half created an amazing flavor and texture, much different than a sauce with sausage which is browned and then added.
Having said that, this is NOT a low fat dish by any stretch of the imagination. This is something to have occasionally, and would be great tasting enough to serve for even your foodiest friends. Get out your best parmesan to grate over this, then sit back and wait for the raves. The recipe said four servings, but I say this is why Americans are so fat compared to Italians; I ate one serving and I had 8 more servings left. I put one in the refrigerator for a lunch at school and put the other 7 into plastic containers to go in the freezer. (Edit from Kalyn added 12-23-05: I did freeze containers of this to eat later, but when I reheated it, although it still tasted great, the cream separated and it was pretty oily. So I would now say cut the recipe in half and make only the amount you would eat freshly made.)
Pasta with Sausages and Cream
(Recipe adapted from The Best Recipes in the World.)
1 pound Dreamfields Penne (1 box)
1 1/4 lbs. (5 links) hot Italian Sausage (use turkey Italian sausage to reduce the fat)
3/4 cup half and half
1 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated parmesan for serving
Start pasta water to boil in a large pot, adding some salt to water. In large nonstick frying pan, melt butter, then squeeze sausage out of casing in 1/2 inch pieces. Add half and half and bring to a very low simmer. Mash pieces of sausage with back of the turner occasionally as it simmers.
Add pasta to boiling water, stir, and cook at a fairly vigorous boil until pasta is just barely al dente (10 minutes in Utah, but it depends on the elevation where you live). When pasta is done, scoop out 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain pasta well.
Add drained pasta to pan with sausage mixture and stir, adding reserved water if it seems dry. (I did need the water when I made it.) Serve immediately with a green salad and plenty of fresh grated parmesan to grate over each serving.
South Beach Suggestions:
With the changes I made, this is certainly a more diet-friendly recipe than the original version Mark Bittman tried in Italy, but this would definitely be a very rare treat for South Beach Dieters, probably best saved for phase 3, and even then a “once in a while” treat.