It’s raining on this first day of spring. Not a cleansing healing rain , but a gloomy one to me anyway. It’s like the world is crying. Japan, Wars both declared and not, The Middle East, unemployment, and even this cutie Knut who
decided to pack it in and leave us. Life is hard and no ever promised it would be easy. But our dreams , determination, faith and friends sustain us through the journey.When you don’t have those, you have nothing. I’ve been thinking of my friends, both real and virtual. Also how lucky I am to have many of virtual friends turn into real friends. They inspire , help, and lend a a shoulder to you in your hour of need. I’ve been thinking about Jeanne who lost her beloved father this week, Marie who always has an encouraging word , Barbara who has turned from more than a web developer to a friend. There are many more friends real and virtual out there who are always there with tips, leads, and humor. These friends bring comfort to my life. You can say I’m in a contemplative mood these days.But I’m lucky to have my circle.
A good dish always soothes a troubled soul. Marie took me to Caputo’s at long last. Any ennui I felt lately vanished as we roamed the cheese room, and pasta aisles.Nobody knows Italian American food like Marie. She directed me to to the right purchases with advice on how to prepare the items.
So this Sunday as I wait for my Certain Someone to come back home from a business trip abroad, I cobbled together this rich and comforting dish baked al forno ( in the oven). Using fresh Paccheri ( a large rigatoni) and Barese sausage ( small narrow sausage flavored with garlic and parsley, no fennel) simmered in white wine and finished off in the oven. Lots of cheese and heavy cream, lightly seasoned with nutmeg, and peas for spring.
Before the recipe I want to announce the winner of the $100 giveaway from US Wellness Meats. Congratulations Cheryl Lee Ferguson.I will email you with instructions to claim your prize.
Paccheri with Peas & Barese Sausage Al Forno
- 1 package of fresh Paccheri or Rigatoni
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella
- 3/4 lb Barese sausage
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 qt heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Boil salted water for pasta.
- In a skillet simmer your Barese until gray in color and almost done.
- Place sausages on a baking sheet and brown in oven until done ( about 10 minutes ). Cut into small bite size pieces.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.
- Boil Paccheri until al dente ( about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and drain.
- In a bowl beat the three eggs with heavy cream. Add salt and pepper. Season generously but carefully as cream dishes diminish salt in flavor.
- In a another large bowl combine drained pasta, cream and egg mixture, Mozzarella Cheese and chopped sausage.
- Place combined mixture in a baking dish or casserole . Top with shaved Parmesan, a sprinkle of grated nutmeg,salt and pepper.
- Bake at 350 for approx 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cream egg mixture should not run if pierced with fork and the dish should be bubbling.