Oct 6 Dinner at Banjara in NYC
Oct 7 Lunch at Il Brigante in NYC and drive home so doritos, a crispy chicken wrap from McD's
Oct 8 Malloreddus with tomato/fennel/sausage
Oct 9 Thanksgiving = turkey dinner with The Neighbours
Seeing that Shack and I had just spent 3 1/2 days in New York eating delicious food that someone else cooked for me, I was actually really looking forward to making dinner our first night home. It was killing me to go to Eataly and walk around and see all of these beautiful ingredients and not be able to buy stuff and take it home and cook it. I actually contemplated buying a cooler and filling it with ice and all manner of mollusks, fish, cheese and veal to drive home until Shack reminded me that despite the pretty environment, Toronto already has all that stuff. That place is actually kind of overwhelming and, in the end, we went there twice and never ate anything at all and only bought a big bag of goodies for The Neighbours as a thank you for watching our devil spawn while we were away. That's not true, I did buy myself two kinds of pasta that I had never heard of and one of those was a bag of malloreddus. They kind of look like the love child of an orecchiette and an uptight sea shell. After googling I found this simple, delicious sounding recipe and although I didn't have wild fennel, I made it using a fennel bulb so it would still sort of have the same flavours, more or less and capture the spirit of the original.
It was really simple and delicious and just what we were all craving.
adapted from this recipe on Aglio, Olio e Peporoncino
200 grams mild italian sausage
1 white onion, diced finely
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 1/2 cups tomato puree
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped (set aside the chopped frilly green tops)
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt to taste
three handfuls of grated parmesan
300 grams malloreddus
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Remove the sausage casings and chop up the meat, add it to the hot pan and sauté it until the sausage is cooked and starts to brown a tiny bit. At that point, add the onion and cook for a few minutes over med low heat, until the onion is translucent. Now add the chopped fennel and garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.
At that point, add the tomato puree , add a good pinch of kosher salt and let it simmer for about 30 to 45 minutes
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil, add the malloreddus, cook for about 8 minutes and drain quite al dente. Drop the pasta into the pan with the tomatoes and also add the chopped frilly fennel tops, blending and tossing until well coated and simmer over medium heat for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle 3 handfuls of grated cheese, and stir some more.