Saturday, September 10, 2011
There is nothing actually Australian about this pasta dish. It's just the first recipe I ever created, and because of my mum being Australian and the ingredients are always changing, "Aussie Pasta" became its name. It's a family favorite because of its versatility, simplicity, and the fact that everyone (from my picky brother to my "make it saltier!" dad).
And the reasons this was the first meal I ever made up are simple: 1. it’s impossible to mess up, 2. it’s made of things I had lying around the house. Enjoy!
2 lbs ripe tomatoes, wedged into 8 segments each
1-2 small zucchinis sliced about a 1/4 inch thick and halved
1 cup mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 yellow onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
4 tablespoons julienned basil
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
6 raw chicken Italian sausages (I usually do 3 mild, 3 spicy; you can do pork too if you want)
Cheese for grating, like an Italian Parm
Heat a large saucepan on medium-high with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cut one end of the sausage and push out small one inch balls into the pan (it squeezes out like tooth paste and they look like small meatballs). Do this to all of the sausages and allow them to brown on all sides. Set the cooked sausage aside and drain off the fat. Don't wash the pan, you want to keep all of those fabulous brown bits!
Then add the onion and mushrooms, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, and a tablespoon of butter (or olive oil)
Allow the onions to soften (about 15 minutes, they should be translucent and slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the sausage and zucchini, cooking for a minute or two to brown slightly. Add the tomatoes and a bit of chopped basil (1 tblsp). Let the whole mixture cook for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have thickened a bit.
Toss the cooked pasta in the sauce and serve with a freshly grated cheese and the remaining basil. This is a great dish to add any of your other favorite veggies to (peas, corn, butternut squash, whatever you have left over in your fridge). Enjoy!