Another Creamy Sausage Pasta
Basic Ingredients (my preferences):
- 300ml double cream (I go for the extra thick double cream)
- 480g or four large sausages (personal favourite: M&S prk, truffle, and parmesan sausages)
- About 90g tomato paste (I use the sadly discontinued M&S smoked tomato paste)
- 150g of your pasta of choice (fresh egg tagliatelle for me)
- One onion, diced
- Four of five garlic cloves, minced (can never have too much garlic)
- Olive oil as required
- Cut up the sausage and fry off in a high brimmed saute pan in the olive oil at medium heat. Once cooked through, move to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the onion and the garlic, cooking till fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste, cooking for a couple of minutes until the paste gets darker to bring out more depth of flavour. If you're using dried pasta, add that to a pot of seasoned boiling water now.
- Add the cream to the onion, garlic, and tomato paste mix and lower the heat. Stir constantly until the sauce is orange and all hints of the cream are gone.If you're using fresh pasta, now's the time to cook it in that seasoned boiling water.
- Add the saugage into the sauce, along with the oil that will have been pooling at the bottom of the bowl it's been sitting. Stir to ensure it's fully coated.
- Once the pasta is cooked to taste, drain and add into the saugage, stirring to fully coat and mix together.
Nutrional values: Absolutely no clue, and I intend to keep it that way.
This is my favourite cheat meal of all time, and half of it came about through happy accident.
The basic concept is hardly new. Almost every food blog and YouTube channel has peddled some version of this for years. It's where I found it, after all. The difference maker is ingrediants you pick out.
We have an M&S across the road from us, so we've been using that for half of our shopping for more interesting ingredients and, to be honest, better produce. For non-Brits, M&S is one of the more middle-class supermarkets; relatively high priced, but tends to have highrer quality and a wider selection. You may also know them for the amazing Percy Pigs.
Every time I went in there I walked past their fancy sausage range and wished for an excuse to buy them. Vintage Cornish Cove Cheddar and confit onion. Chili, fennel, and pork. And of course, their pork, parmesan, and truffle sausages. But alas, I'm a creature of habit when I shop, and I don't have the time or energy to stand around thinking of ways to cook stuff, so I just end up buying the things I know I'm going to eat and more imprortantly, that my wife will eat.
She's a bit of a picky eater, you see. Over the years, she's racked a couple dozen surgeries on her face due to childhood issues, and as a result developed a really low appetite. Portion sizes, then, are a concern.
Then there's her delicate pallet. Anything spicier that a korma causes the plate to be pushed away. There's even been times where the sauce of a frozen Chicago Town pizza has had a bit too much kick to it. So once I've found a thing that a) passes the taste test, b) passes the size test, and c) passes the heat test, I tend to stick to it forever more.
But that breeds boredom, and that breeds restlessness and dissatisfaction.
I watch a fair amount of food videos, but rarely action the ideas. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen variations of creamy sausage pasta. The thought of all that fat from the cream and the sausage has always put me off. Can't exactly claim to be losing weight whilst shovelling that down my face.
Not unless I start a regular cheat day that is.
Cheat days always sound counterproductive, but if it's good enough for the Rock, it's good enough for me.
The main benefit is aiding in your main diet's longevity. It's far, far easier to stick to healthy, calorie controlled meals through the week if you know that at the end of it, you're guaranteed a day of whatever you want. As long as you don't go too far overboard, you'll probably put on a pound or two by the next morning. After a couple of days of right eating and exercise, I often find I've reversed most of, if not all of the damage.
This to me means pastries, specifically yum nuts and pain au chocolat. It means wine, and chocolate. It used to mean a sausage, bacon, and egg breakfast roll with a little bit of brown sauce from the park kiosk on my dog walk, but I found that was just a little overboard. The creamy sausage pasta though, that stays.
I knew a cheat day would be the only day of the week I'd be able to eat it. The cream alone is 700kcals per portion, the sausages another 700kcals. There is zero chance of me fitting it into my daily diet without serious adjustments or paying the consequences. I also knew I was struggling to get back into a consistency, too tempted by treats and cheats through the week. Setting up a cheat day Sunday with this at the end of it seemed like a good bait, and for the last month at least it's worked.
I mentioned earlier how half it came about through happy accident. Well, the sausages were just a thing I stumble across. I knew the truffle would cut through and the parmesan would cut down on additional cheese needed, but I didn't quite account for how rich and luxirious it would make the sauce. The cream, too, wasn't meant to be the extra thick kind. I just picked up the first pot that said double cream on it at the size I wanted. This stuff is just seconds away from being whipped into stiff peaks.
That's only half the accident though.
Some time last year, not long after we first moved in, I ran out of tomato paste for the bolognase I was getting ready to cook. The wife was out, so I asked if she could pick me up some, and she came back with this tiny jar of smoked tomato paste.
When I stopped laughing I asked how that happened, expecting just a little tube of bog standard tomato puree. She said it was the only thing that they had according to the shop assistant. Not wanting to push it any further, I opened the jar and stuck my pinky in to give it a quick test.
Oh. My. God.
I don't know if it was actually smoked, but it came across in the flavour. That and the slight acidity from the white wine vinegar in it. I didn't realise simple tomato paste could taste that good.
It's been a staple of all my pasta sources since then. When M&S were discontinuing it, I bought as much as I could from three different stores, meaning I have at most five months worth. I'm hoping they reconsider, but if not, a suitable replacement will be needed. A post for another day, perhaps.
Most of the recipes I saw online didn't call for any tomato paste, but knowing the sausage and cream would create a really rich base, I wanted something to cut through and add an extra dimension to it. Boy, did that work.
The end result is near perfection, Rich, tangy, creamy, cheesey, with luxurious truffles, juicy pork sausage lumps, and perfectly coated fresh tagliatelle. It also happens to be roughly 80% of an average person's recommended daily calories.
But that's cheat day.
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Running total - 15,688 (31.4%, 685 words ahead of target)
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