Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Italian food, two slices, Penne Salsiccia

Two versions of penne with sausage:

1. Machine cut raw capsicum thin & unpeeled. Make basic sugo. Boil, fry, or boil then fry, simple 'Italian' pork sausages to stabilise, then cool and slice into rounds. Frypan, heat, olive oil, saute the raw capsicum until it softens a little, add a handful of sausage slices, fry a little more. Add a ladle of sugo, a few black olives and cooked penne. Toss, heat and serve.

2. Boil an uncooked cotechino sausage gently for about an hour, lift and cool. While that is happening, make tomato sugo. While the sugo is reducing, take a mix of capsicum colours and either roast in the oven, barbecue or grill over the gas hob until the skin blackens and the pepper softens. Rest, covered, to loosen the skins with steam, then peel, remove seeds and tear or slice into strips. Slice the cotechino, push the skin away and crumble into medium sized pieces. Sweat a little onion in olive oil until softened and just starting to colour, adding a little fresh garlic (crushed with a knife) at the end. Turn up the heat, add the sausage, fry a little, then add strips of roasted capsicum, a splash of white wine, some sugo and a little fresh thyme. Start to cook the penne as the sauce gently simmers. When the penne is just cooked, lift, drain a little and add to the sauce with a few black olives. Cook gently for a further minute to have the pasta 'take' some of the sauce, without overcooking, then serve.

The back story here is dinner out last evening at Bellucci's in Woden. Penne Salsiccia was explained as penne with cotechino sausage, roast capsicum and sugo. As with #1 above, penne and sugo did feature, but the cotechino and 'roast' capsicum were no shows. While the second version does involve a few more steps and take a bit more time, it is a more honest accounting.

The sausage penne dish was accompanied by a bottle of 2003 Fox Gordon cabernet sauvignon from the Barossa. The sweetness in the wine, and the capsicum flavour, went well with the capsicum (undercooked and skin on as it was) and the sausage pieces.

Earlier in the evening, another bottle of the Taminick Cellars 1919 vines Trebbiano was well-liked by the table. A touch more development has helped bring forward the waxy texture and integrate the crisp, lemony acid.

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