Just Close Your Eyes And Eat
There are days when my concoctions don't quite work out. Despite fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients, the resulting dinner just looks like something that Cora threw up. This dinner was like that, a total mess.
I was doing fine as I chunked my crimini mushrooms, cut up my broccoli florets, sautéed my spicy Italian sausage for tiny meatballs, and sliced my garlic. The water was madly boiling when I added my pappardelle to it and I was sailing along.
When the pappardelle was almost ready, I removed the sausage bits and sautéed the mushrooms and then the broccoli in the same pan with a driz of extra olive oil as the sausage had been lean. I added about half a cup of half-and-half to the pan with the four cloves of sliced garlic, thinking to make a really garlicky sauce for the pasta. I found an interesting bottle of herbs, too, called "Pasta Sprinkles," no doubt a hostess gift from a friend, so I added a shaking of that and some smoked paprika to the mix. Returned the sausage to the pan and then I had the bright idea to add some plain yogurt to the boiling sauce, to give it a little kick of sour flavor.
Not a good idea. The yogurt separated instantly into curds and whey, breaking the sauce and turning it a sullen shade of tan with islands of cream-colored curd. I'm not sure what I did wrong - maybe should have added the yogurt at the last minute off the heat? - but it looked disastrous.
Still, I reasoned that everything in that pan was good and tasty - it might not look like it was, but it simply must be! So, I cooked it down a bit more, added fresh black pepper and a sprinkling of salt, and slapped it onto plates. What the hell!
I instructed My Beloved to close his eyes and take a bite - and it worked! The sauce was really quite good. The yogurt did just what I hoped it would, giving a little tang of sour to the otherwise bland sauce and pointing up the other flavors. The garlic was present and accounted for but gentled by the cream, and the mushrooms added their funk to the slightly salty sausage. All in all, it was as good a meal as I have made in a month, even if it did look like road kill.
Just close your eyes and eat!