Something I'd Hate To Lose
Whenever we go to the Kensington farmer's market, we look for Scott at the Fifth Quarter booth - he always has something wonderful to try. If it's not smoked tongue, it's wonderful pancetta or mouthwatering salumi.
This time, he urged me to try his Toulouse sausage. It's a pork sausage, like sweet Italian sausage except for the flavorings, which are completely different and which stopped My Beloved in mid-bite to moan with pleasure.
The label states that Toulouse sausage is made with heritage pork, white wine, organic garlic, organic herbs, spices and sea salt. Scott said that the herbs include thyme, which has to be my all-time favorite herb, so I was sold.
Rather than serve them simply as sausages, I decided to squeeze out bibbits of the meat into a hot frying pan to make meatballs for a simple pasta dish. Once the meatballs were richly browned, I removed them to a plate, poured off the extra fat and, in turn, sautéed onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery and broccoli in the same pan.
When the veggies were mostly done, I added a couple of small ladlefuls of the pasta water to the pan, stirring it around to collect the caramelized gold off the bottom of the pan, and added just a splash of cream (half and half) to the pan to make a brownish sauce. That's why my pasta looks like whole wheat when it was really just plain white.
I rolled the meatballs back into the pan along with the juices that had collected, stirred that all in and covered it briefly just to finish steaming the veggies and warming the meatballs. Drain the pasta and throw it in with the rest for another toss with all that goodness and plate. What could be simpler?
This is one of those dishes that will go into frequent rotation at our house. Anything that makes my man stop, close his big blue eyes and groan with pleasure is my kind of meal, one that I'd hate to lose.