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Welcome to my second Crazy Cooking Challenge. This is Julie’s recipe from Sugarfoot Eats. You need to check out her blog if for no other reason than to see where the name came from; it’s a great story. Getting back to the dish at hand, it might be more accurate to say this is the spaghetti Julie would make if she lived in Poland where we have lots of sausage, none of it Italian.
I bought ground meat (pork and beef, because the pork is just too lean), and seasoned it using Alton Brown’s recipe for Italian sausage, added salt, pepper, fennel, and parsley. Ed thought heat would be a good idea, so we also tossed in a generous pinch of red pepper flakes. This is the land of mushrooms, so it was no problem finding three different kinds to use – white button, portabello, and chanterelles.
I enjoyed this dish immensely, the flavor was rich and complex. Even though I knew every ingredient, I struggled to identify and separate them once they had blended. Our dinner guests raved about the taste, the proportion of meat to mushroom. Who am I kidding? I stack the deck by inviting Ed’s coworkers whose wives are stateside. They’re nice polite guys who enjoy a home cooked meal. (I know you’re reading this Bill and Bill.)
Give it a try; this delicious red sauce is different than anything we’ve ever had before!
box of whole wheat spaghetti
3 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 pound spicy ground Italian sausage
8 ounces of sliced mixed mushrooms
salt & black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/4 cup heavy cream
shredded Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Cook spaghetti according to the package directions.
- Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Drain pasta.
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
- Add the Italian sausage, brown over medium heat.
- Transfer sausage to a bowl and set it aside.
- To the skillet, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- Over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in tomato paste and rosemary (I substituted fresh tarragon). Stir for 1 minute.
- Return the cooked sausage to the skillet.
- Add the cream and reserved pasta water, stir.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine spaghetti and sausage & mushroom sauce.
- Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.