In a few weeks, I will be taking my first trip across the Atlantic to spend three weeks in Paris and Rome. I plan to leave our itinerary for Paris in the capable hands of my wife who has been there several times. So I have taken it upon myself to delve into everything Roman. From perusing the guidebooks, I have discovered that I will be seeing a lot of churches and ruins. But, what I am looking forward to the most is the food, fresh pastas, local ingredients, and thousands of years of traditions.
While reading a very descriptive food section in one of the many guidebooks I have purchased this summer, I was inspired to create this dish.
Pappardelle with Fennel Sausage and Grilled Vegetables
Serves 3 to 4
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Portobello mushroom
1 large bell pepper
2 zucchini squash
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 ounces white wine
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
8 to 10-ounce package dry pappardelle pasta
For the sausage, combine the pork, salt, both peppers, fennel seed, and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
For the grilled vegetables, slice the mushroom, pepper and squash in ½-inch strips and place in a shallow dish. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil until coated. Start a medium-hot fire and grill the vegetables directly over the flames until tender and showing grill marks. Remove from the grill and chop.
Chop the onion, slice the tomatoes, and set aside. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage mixture in 1-inch chunks. Cook, stirring regularly, until browned on all sides.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the sauté pan. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the tomatoes, wine and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add the grilled vegetables, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Cook the pappardelle per package instructions. Strain the pasta and put in a large shallow bowl. Pour the sausage and the vegetables over the pasta and serve.
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