Thursday, August 4, 2011

Al Fresco Dining

Given that I was awakened by the crashing of a rainstorm at early o'clock this morning, it's hard to believe that that night I was having a leisurely late dinner in the garden - but I was.  We've been enjoying amazing weather in London for the past few days (though clearly that spell has ended) and so last night Jon came over and I cooked us a simple summer pasta dish to enjoy outside.

I felt very mediterranean - we didn't start eating until 10 and continued till nearly midnight, the wine flowed freely, and it was balmy enough that I didn't need a cardigan over my strappy jersey dress.  Heaven!  I was inspired to make an easy chocolate cake for dessert, but the star of the meal was definitely the pasta.

Pasta with Broad (Fava) Beans, Tomatoes, and Sausage
serves 4

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 diced onion
2 tbs minced garlic
dusting of red pepper flakes (as much as your constitution can handle!)
6 sausages, casings removed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 punnet chopped plum tomatoes
1/2 kg shelled and blanched and peeled broad beans (so worth all the effort)
250g pasta (I used orchiette)
grated parmesan

Make the pasta.

At the same time, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onion is translucent.  Add sausages, breaking up the meat and mixing it with the onion/garlic mixture; sauté until brown.  Add wine and simmer for a minute, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add tomatoes and broad beans and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Put the cooked pasta in a pretty serving bowl, coat with the sauce (make sure to toss well) and serve with the grated parmesan on the side.  Enjoy!

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