We celebrated my son's 21st birthday this week....twice! First time at an upscale burger joint, where I had a "Slumdog" veggie burger on naan, with mango chutney and coleslaw. Yum! Last night we dined at Tony Roma's, where everyone had ribs but me...I had a tasty fire roasted chicken and veggie salad. For dessert we had a "choco-coffee" ice cream cake from Marble Slab...I instead enjoyed some Greek yogurt with honey and fresh blueberries. I am pretty proud of myself for sticking to my IBS diet this week. :)
This afternoon I still had a houseful. I also had some Italian turkey sausages from the farmer's market that were calling my name. So I decided to make a big pot of pasta to feed everyone.
285. Pregnant Jools's Pasta (Jamie's Meals In Minutes, page 30 )
FoodNetwork.ca recipe link
This was a bit of a hard sell at first, for the name alone. Once I got them to realise it wan't just a pasta for pregnant people, they were concerned about the fennel seeds. I managed to convince them that they were just there to compliment the flavour of the sausages. I refused to omit them. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down! You can't say you don't like something until you at least try it, right? And no one could say that they'd in fact tried fennel seeds before. They tried to get me to make the frangipane tarts as well, but I decided the left over ice cream cake should be sufficient. :p
This recipe couldn't be much simpler...roughly chop your veggies, and throw them in the food processor. I used 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, one green chile from the garden, and a small piece of a red pepper for colour and sweetness. I skipped the scallions because of the onion hater among us, but they would have been a nice addition.
Next, I added the sausages (skin and all) to the processor, along with the fennel seeds and dried oregano. I put this mixture in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil and fried it until cooked, breaking up the lumps of sausage as I went. I added some minced garlic, a bit of balsamic vinegar, and a can of tomatoes, and let this simmer while the pasta cooked. I used rigatoni instead of penne, because I found it in the grocery store in my favourite brand, and I wanted to try it.
Finally, I added the cooked pasta to the sauce with a bit of the cooking water and some fresh basil, and removed it from the heat. I served it with some grated parmesan cheese and soft rolls to sop up the sauce.
Everyone loved it, even the fussy kids. Hard to believe! I thought the flavour of the fennel really shone through, in a good way. Everyone else said they couldn't taste it....but I don't think they realized that the fennel was actually the flavor they loved! ;) I easily served 5 people with this recipe, and one went back for seconds. It was very filling, delicious, and only cost about $1.50 per person. You can't beat that!
This post has been shared on the Wednesday Fresh Foods Blog Hop at Gastronomical Sovereignty!