Saturday, August 27, 2005

Lamb Merguez Pasta - the Recipe

Lamb Merguez Pasta
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total Cooking time: 20 minutes or so

Serves 2

4-6 lamb merguez sausages (they’re quite skinny usually, so figure 2-3 per person), of course you could substitute these with Italian or Chorizo sausages. Just remember, if substituting that the sausages are raw and not smoked/cured, at least for this version.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups cremini mushrooms, quartered or thickly sliced
2 28 oz/ 796 ml tins of marinara sauce (I usually make my own – it’s in the cookbook – but sometimes even 30 minutes feels too long)
1 tsp each dried oregano & basil
¼ cup red wine (optional)
2 cups uncooked pasta cooked as directed( for those of you on the South Beach Diet, I like penne with this and I’ve found some whole wheat pasta by Italpasta that doesn’t overpower the sauce or turn mushy in an instant)

1. Preheat the oven to Broil or get a grill pan ready to cook the sausages on top of the stove.

2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and toss until you get that wonderful aroma. Time to add the marinara sauce, and herbs and heat – 5 minutes or so will do just to blend all the flavors and heat the sauce through.

3. In the meantime, broil the merguez sausages in the oven or use a grill pan and cook over medium high heat on top of the stove. Either way should only take 4 minutes per side. If you are using another type of sausage, it might take longer. You want the meat cooked through.

4. Once the sausages are cooked, slice them into 1” pieces and add them to the sauce and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. This should be ready to go!

5. While the sauce is simmering cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.

The merguez are usually quite spicy so don't add any chilies until you taste it! I love to sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta just before serving.

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