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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just me, a glass of malbec, and a million ideas in my head!

I am all alone tonight..... My husband is out at a time, my daughter giving tours of the convent at Ursuline.  I'm thinking pasta, with fresh veggies and shrimp......No!  Sausage.  For some reason, I was in the mood for sausage tonight.  So listen up!  Instead of using fresh garlic and fresh basil, I decide to go the Baharat route (paprika, cumin coriander, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom).  If you don't order this from Colonel De's on line, do mix some of it up to use.  The flavors are intense!  I'm telling you.  There is something about the smell of the combination of these spices, and the taste of sweet Italian sausage that seemed to go so well together.  

So, I partially defrost the sausages, take the skin off of them, and slice them up.  Don't wait too long to cut them, if you do, the sausage gets really soft and impossible to slice.

Before I cook the sausage, I cook the pasta.... a no-brainer!


As you can see, my assistant is totally on top of things, making sure I am doing everything according to plan.   I cook batches of sliced sausage until they are done. 

I put a very small amount of olive oil in the pan, and cook the pieces of sausage.  Just before they are done, I sprinkle a little of the Baharat seasoning.   The aroma is amazing!

By now, the pasta is done, drained,  and cooling, the sausage is done, and I can quickly cook the onion and leek I have cut up. 

I turn off the heat and sprinkle some of the magic spice on, and dump in the mushrooms and tomatoes.  The heat in the pan will just slightly cook the mushrooms and tomatoes. 

 I turn off the heat and turn my attention back to the cooked pasta.  In a container, I whisk 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup of half and half, and 1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese. I pour this over the cooked pasta and mix in well.  With the heat on low, and stirring constantly, the mixture will cook.   (My daughter loves meringue, so I will use the egg whites that were separated from the yokes this weekend)

I dump in another 1/2 cup of cheese, then add all the vegetables and sausage, as well as some cut up Kalamata olives. 

The final touch is about 6 spoonfuls of the dipping oil I keep in the fridge.  It is olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper.

So there you have it.  A one pan meal, although you need a separate pan to boil the pasta.  Please keep tasting this as you put it together.  I always find I need to add a little more salt and pepper.  All the other flavors speak for themselves, especially the Baharat spice combination.  This has got to be one of my favorite ways of making dinner.  The leftovers go into a Tupperware container, and will get eaten tomorrow for lunch!

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