Orchiette w/ Fennel, Sausage, & Red Pepper

orchiette sausage 3 - Copy

So I can’t take credit for this dish, because it was 100% Nick’s creation and under taking. My only actual role in this recipe was to buy the ingredients. We hadn’t made a really good pasta dish in awhile, so I told Nick to pick his favorite one and we’d treat our selves on Friday night. We had our friends over for a nice double date, welcoming them to the neighborhood (yay for recruiting west village folks uptown). This was the perfect dish to over indulge in after a long week, because it is based in olive oil, so you don’t feel as guilty. Might I add we scraped the bowl clean, then finished the night off with four different cakes from a diner down the street. YUM!

Lil miss Char only got to play with our guests for about 20 minutes before it was bed time. I think both Charlotte and myself were a tad run down this week. We had 3 play dates this week, which is much busier than usual. We went to music class, visited Brooklyn, ventured to the Central Park Zoo with friends, and explored some new play ground swings. Hmmm maybe mama overbooked us? I’m pretty sure that explains our exhaustion.

Orchiette w/ Fennel, Sausage, & Red pepper

Ingredients:

  • 1 box orchiette
  • 2 sweet italian sausages
  • 1 spicy italian sausage
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 bulbs fennel (cut into cubes about the size of the orchiette)
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced thinly)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 bunch parsley (chopped)
  • salt, pepper, chili flakes, thyme extra virgin olive oil.
  • Fresh grated parmesan

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425. Toss the fennel with some olive oil with a pinch of salt & pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until soft, ~25 mins.
  2.  Start boiling the water with a generous amount of salt. You can start the rest of the recipe while the fennel is roasting and while you wait for the water to boil.
  3. Remove the filling from the sausages and saute in a large saucepan w/ 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat, until well browned. Crumble the sausage into smaller pieces, so they’re about the size of the orchiette. Remove the sausage from the pan, preserving the left over oil.
  4. Add the garlic, onion, and red pepper to the pan, with a generous pinch of salt, pepper and dried chili flates, saute until just golden (3-4 mins). Sprinkle 2 Tbsp flour over the sauteed veggies, stirring well, until they start brown again (~1 min).
  5. While preparing the sauce, you can start boiling the pasta, cook until al dente (not quite fully cooked… it will cook a little more in the sauce).
  6. Add white wine and 1 tsp dried thyme to the veggies, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce until most of the wine is gone (~10 mins). Add the chicken stock and the cooked sausage to the pan, reduce again until most liquid is gone (another 5-10 mins). At this point you should have a reasonably thick, almost like glazed veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Add the bread crumbs, mix well, and toast until golden. stir frequently, approx. 2 mins.
  8.  Add the pasta and roasted fennel to the mixture, tossing lightly. Cook all together for 1-2 mins. Transfer to a large bowl, toss with the parsley.
  9.  Serve in bowls, sprinkling toasted breadcrumbs and parm on top.

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