Monday, July 21, 2008

Back To Basics

Sometimes you want good, simple comfort food. Sausage & peppers does it for me! I got greedy and ended up spooning the peppers over some pasta, but we'll get to that later.

Start by browning some sausage over high heat-- sweet or hot (or both); it doesn't matter. I used half sweet and half hot. I live on the edge like that.

Remember to brown and not fully cook the sausage - hence the high heat. Once browned, remove the sausage from the pan.
Start your veggies in layers. I know this is called sausage and peppers, but onion and celery never hurt anybody. They wanted to join in the fun and games too. I added the celery first. I hit it with a little salt and pepper and let it sweat until softened. Onions were next, followed by the peppers. Season each layer! Flavor should be built at each stage, not just at the end. After the peppers have started to soften, add the garlic.
As the veggies soften, they start to release their liquid. This will help you scrape up the good
bits of fond on the bottom of the pan. If you thought those burnt bits were no good, shame on you. They add wonderful depth to a dish.
I wanted to hurry up and cook so that I could take a nap. After I got the veggies on their way, I added dried oregano, put the sausage on top, put the lid on the pan and popped it in a 350 degree oven. Of course the pan was my All-Clad Petite Braiser. The domed lid allows more moisture to drip down and baste the food.
About an hour later, BAM!!!
All of that juicy goodness needed to be in a bun, but since I didn't have any, I opted for some pasta. I took some Barilla No-Boil Lasagna noodles, boiled them and made tagliatelle. (Thank you, Jamie Oliver, for the idea.)
Tools of the trade:

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