homemade fennel sausage carbonara and a bunch of other stuff

Trying to squeeze in all of the ordinary things that Meggie and I would do if she lived next door to me inevitably turns into a cooking marathon. She had a few new dishes for us to try and then there’s her stunning collection of cookbooks.  For those of you who are new to my on-going resistance to my daughters leaving home, I’m visiting Meg in Calgary. I tried to write ‘new home’ but my fingers froze! I’m kidding. Slowly and with great pride I am understanding her journey west. I would still rather she lived in the same postal code as me – just sayin’

After a couple of heavy nights of beef and lamb, we decided to try a couple of recipes from the Mozza cookbook. I can recognize a killer pizza dough recipe from a thousand yards and the one in this book is fantastic! Meg didn’t have the bread flour that the recipe called for so we substituted all-purpose flour instead and still ended up with a light crispy crust.

Not that we needed anything more than the pizza for dinner but we also made the coleslaw recipe. A stunner with red and green cabbages, granny smith apple slices, carrots and parsnips tossed in a tart celery seed dressing. We could have just had the salad and been happy but Meg and I would never choose salad over pizza – ever.

Meggie decided that Ralph needed something sweet for after dinner. In less than a heartbeat, she whipped together chocolate chip cookies from One Girl Cookies by Dawn Casale and David Crofton. Had I not eaten so much salad, stifled giggle, I could have had at least four of these chocolate chip stuffed cookies. I had to settle for one. Of course, I am alone today with a big ole container sitting on the kitchen counter…

We loved the fennel sausage so much we decided the next night to use it in Jamie Oliver’s sausage carbonara. I kid you not – we were licking our plates. I’m guessing that’s a visual that you might not find particularly appetizing but I don’t know how else to convince you to try this recipe. His recipe calls for store bought sausage which would be fine as long as you live in a place that sells outstanding sausage. Sadly, I don’t so the homemade version is critical to the success of this dish. I’ve waxed poetic about grinding meat in past posts. If you haven’t tried it yet take the leap. You’ll never regret it!

Sausage Carbonara
Adapted from Jamie’s Italy, Jamie Oliver

1 lb fennel sausage meat – recipe below
olive oil
2 slices coppa, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb dried linguine
4 large free range egg yolks
½ cup whipping cream
2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Shape sausage meat into little balls about the size of large marbles and place them to one side.
Place a large frying pan over medium high heat and fry meatballs until lightly golden on all sides
Add the pancetta and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
While this is cooking, cook linguine according to the manufacturer’s
instructions.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, cream, half the Parmesan and
the lemon zest.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving a little of the cooking water.
Toss the pasta quickly with the egg mixture back in the pasta pan.
Add the sausage meatballs and toss everything together.
If the sauce is too thick lighten it with a little of the pasta water.
Serve with grated parmesan.

THE LOVE: Make sure that you keep the sausage balls warm while you are preparing everything else. Cold sausage balls would taste awful!

sausage carbonara printable copy

fennel sausage printable copy

one year ago: lemon and mascarpone gnocchi

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