“Italian” Sausage Pappardelle

IMG_7131

Ahh, spring is nearly here. The sounds of lambs bleating to their anxious mothers across dewy fields. Birds calling for a mate in budding trees above the flowering crocus and snowdrops.

Well, no. The apocalyptic scene below, my friends, is my local coast and is all down to one stubborn mother of a blocking anti-cyclone somewhere off the Scottish coast according the good people at BBC weather. And we’ve had it lightly by all accounts. I’ve no doubt the snow-bound residents of Ireland, Dumfries and Galloway or Yorkshire would rather like this delinquent weather system to ‘block off’. Fairly quickly.

photo-2

I’m getting fed up of winter fires and ‘comfort food’, whatever that means – I want sunshine, barbecues, seafood in a busy cafe. For the first time in my life I’m becoming worried about rickets. What’s going on?

As a compromise, I made this big pappardelle dish recently. Hearty but hinting at holidays in Northern Italy, it succeeded in cheering me up no end.

It started with the distinctly un-Italian Cumberland sausage, which bar a few key ingredients is actually fairly similar, being made with plenty of herbs and a coarse texture. I filled in the gaps in this with some roast and ground fennel seed, dried chilli and gently fried garlic to give it that familiar Italian taste

I finished it off with some light single cream, finely sliced sweet red peppers and a good handful of grated parmesan.

Big flavours resulted and I felt both ‘comforted’ and slightly less like hibernating. Now if only we could dislodge this pesky anti-cyclone – over to you climatologists…

  • 200g Pappardelle pasta
  • 3 coarse pork sausages, Cumberland if you can get them
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed, dry roasted and ground to a  powder
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely sliced
  • About 200ml single cream
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and Black pepper

Boil a large pan of water, season with salt and put in the pasta. 12 minutes to get on with the rest….

Heat a smallish frying pan with some olive oil. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and a pinch of salt and gently fry for a few minutes. Meanwhile, remove the sausage skins. Add the sausage meat to the pan with 1-2 tsp of ground fennel seed (to suit your taste) and brown well.

Add the peppers and soften for a few minutes more. Check the pasta, should be nearly there.

Lastly, pour in the cream and simmer to reduce a little.

IMG_7122

Stir in a handful of parmesan, taste and season if necessary.

Drain the pasta and serve it up with the sauce on top (or mix in together in the pan..) and a good twist of black pepper.

IMG_7138

Breakfast Sausage and Thyme Omelette

Sausage and Thyme Omelette

Wow, two in a row here I think everyone. Stuck for breakfast ideas, I once again found myself rummaging through the fridge/freezer for inspiration and found some frozen sausages. The quick addition of some shallots, and some mini bell peppers and thyme from the garden and ‘voila’, sausage and thyme omelette.

These were Cumberland sausages which worked particularly well, being rich in herbs and flavouring but I’m betting good Italian or Toulouse varieties would be good too.

I won’t go into details here, it was only an omelette, but it’s simplicity itself really: just skin the sausages and break into small pieces and fry it off with a couple of sliced shallots and the peppers until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and add the leaves from a couple of sprigs of thyme.

Beat four eggs and pour it in. Once the sides begin to appear cooked, finish it off under the grill for a few minutes until all the egg is set.

IMG_6231

And that’s it…I would use butter ordinarily, but the calorie count would have taken a battering and to be honest, it was none the worse without it.

Made a lovely breakfast with a decent pot of coffee and some Wilkin & Sons brown sauce.

Sausage and Thyme Omelette