a gourmet inspired long weekend – part two: saturday

pappardelle with pork & fennel sausage

After a big run along the almost deserted country roads in the misty rain on Saturday morning, I was glad that I’d stocked up with some good bread from The Bourke Street Bakery on my way out of Sydney.  Continuing my current mushroom obsession, some button mushrooms were pan fried in butter and olive oil with a little garlic and thyme. These were then served atop chunky toasted slices of soybean and linseed sourdough that had been crowned with meltingly oozy taleggio cheese: a perfect winter lunch inspired by the recent Gourmet Traveller Antipasto supplement.

The May issue of my favourite food mag: Australian Gourmet Traveller was for me one of their best in years.  The focus was on Italian cooking which perfectly suited the mood for a chilly June long weekend. A hearty sausage pasta was just the thing for a Saturday dinner.  Although I was tempted to pack my pasta machine and make the pappardelle from scratch, I managed to resist and picked up some Italian made dried pappardelle from Fratelli Fresh which packed considerably lighter….and cooked up a treat. The broccoli with walnuts in the accompanying antipasto magazine supplement worked well as a vego side dish and really went down well with my mum the broccoli lover.

For dessert, the torta de mela (apple cake) recipe from the T’Gallant winery restaurant looked pretty tidy. But I had visions of pretty rosy rhubarb which is well loved in my family. So my torta became a rhubarb and almond version to be served with a generous dollup of marscarpone…all good things…
 

a wintery saturday pasta supper
pappardelle with pork & fennel sausage
broccoli with walnuts
rhubarb and almond torta

pappardelle with pork & fennel sausage
serves 6

The original recipe from Guy Grossi in the May 06 Gourmet Traveller calls for duck sausage but unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any.  The pork and fennel snags from AC Butchery that I substituted worked a treat.

8 good quality pork and fennel sausages
2T olive oil
2 large brown onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
140g tomato paste
2 tins good quality tomatoes
150mL dry white wine
1/3 bunch continental parsley, leaves picked
parmesan cheese to serve
600g dried pappardelle.

For the sauce, heat oil in a large frying pan and cook sausages over a medium heat, turning until well browned and cooked through.  Remove sausages and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile cook onion over a low heat until well softened.

Slice snags into rounds less than 1cm thick and return to the pan along with garlic and tomato paste. Allow to cook over a medium heat for a few minutes before adding tomatoes and wine. Allow to simmer uncovered for approx 30mins or until sauce is reduced and thickened.  Season with s&p.

Bring a very large pot of salted water to the boil and cook pappardelle until al dente. Drain and divide between 6 warmed pasta bowls. Top with sausage sauce and garnish with parsley leaves. Serve immediately with a chunk of parmesan to grate at the table.

broccoli with walnuts
serves 4-6 as a side dish

Adapted from the Gourmet Traveller Antipasto Cookbook supplement May 2006.

2 large heads broccoli, cut into florets with stems attached
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 anchovies, chopped
1/4C extra virgin olive oil
1/2C walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped

Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water for 2mins. Drain and toss with remaining ingredients and place in an oven proof dish and season with s&p. 

Bake for approx 10mins at 180oC or until broccoli is just cooked and sizzling. Serve pronto.

rhubarb and almond torta
serves 10

Adapted from the Torta di Mela recipe from T’Gallant winery restaruant in the May 06 Australian Gourmet Traveller.

800g rhubarb stalks (approx 2 large bunches), chopped into 3cm lengths
150g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
200g (1C) caster sugar
120g (1/2C) brown sugar
3 eggs
100g unsalted butter, melted
2t vanilla extract
150g plain flour
2t baking powder
1/2C buttermilk
marscapone, to serve

Grease a 24cm springform cake tin and preheat oven to 180C. Whisk eggs and sugars until pale and creamy. Add butter, vanilla, flour and baking powder and mix until combined. Stir through buttermilk.

Place 1/3 mixture in the cake tin and top with 1/3 rhubarb stalks and half the almonds.  Top with the next 1/3 cake mix, next 1/3 rhubarb and remaining almonds.  Finish with the remaining cake mix and place the remaining rhubarb on top in a pretty pattern.

Bake for approx 1hr 20mins or until cake is dark golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to rest for at least 20mins in the tin before turning out and serving warm or at room temp with marscapone passed separately.

rhubarb and almond torta

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