Pasta Is For Lovers
Sam and Naomi, our charming young house guests, are just barely off their honeymoon. They were married in England just about a month ago so they bring along with them that happy glow that comes with the first wonder at being man and wife. It's lovely to witness.
It's also lovely to taste the enthusiasm they put into their cooking. They seem thrilled to have a well-stocked and furnished kitchen in which to let their culinary imaginations hold sway. I brought home garlic sausages from the Marin Sun Farms' store in Market Hall and Sam made them into a very special dinner.
His sauce was composed of browned sausage meat in a creamy, tomato-y sauce lovingly combined with penne pasta cooked just al dente. Sam tastes as he cooks, adding a little of this and a dab of that until his tongue tells him the dish is ready. The entire meal took only about half an hour to compose, too, a bonus if you happen to be working. Richly flavorful and artfully presented in pasta bowls, it disappeared in record time. Marvelously satisfying.
He had trouble remembering the steps of creation but we sat down together and stepped through what he did, coming up with a pretty good approximation. You don't really need the exact ingredients as I'm sure he would make it differently next time; that gives you the freedom to mess about with your own joyous, off-the-cuff version to serve to your own lover.
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic sausages
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup dry sherry
14 ounce can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with the juice from the can
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup heavy cream
Cracked black pepper
Basil leaf for garnish
Into a mixture of olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a wide pan, sauté the chopped onion, then squeeze out the contents of the garlic sausages in little bits and brown them in the same pan. Pour off the extra fat. Add the garlic and lightly cook. Add the sherry and cook until reduced to almost nothing. Add the tomatoes and juice, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon, then the bay leaves, and cook for about 10 minutes.
While the sauce bubbles away, cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain.
When the sauce is nicely cooked, reduce the heat, add the cream, then the parsley, and simmer for perhaps 5-10 more minutes until it thickens. Add cracked pepper and the pasta, stirring until all the pasta is coated with sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of something green.