I made this recipe while half in the bag. It culminated after a spirited afternoon of listening to music and chatting with my love in the company of lots of wine and year end best-of lists. Miraculously, this dish emerged as an elegant meal that only added to our evening. It was rich and packed with flavour, perfect for soothing the transition into early winter darkness that is, frankly, super depressing.
If you’ve never made garlic confit before, you probably should. It is super easy and can be added to almost any dish to add some finishing oomph. It is essentially whole cloves of garlic slow cooked in olive oil until soft. It’s a lot like roasted garlic, but the bonus is the by product garlic-infused olive oil that can (and should) be saved for future sauces and dressings. I die.
I made a batch before hand (which inspired this pasta dish now that I think about it ((foggy)). The most annoying part is peeling the cloves, but luckily the garlic I had comprised of those dreamy, huge, easy to peel bulbs which made my life a lot less tedious. Just peel garlic (don’t smash!) and submerge in good quality olive oil, over low heat simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half until very soft. Reserve the garlic and olive oil and use in future dishes (i.e everything).
Spaghettini in White Wine Cream Sauce with Sausage, Capers and Garlic Confit
- 8 cloves garlic confit (or roasted garlic)
- 1 fresh red pepper
- 2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 cup dry white wine (or whatever you be drinking)
- 3 Italian sausages
- Pasta (about four servings)
- Dried (or fresh) parsley
- Red chili flakes
- Fresh black pepper
- Sea salt
Hmmm…let’s see if I remember this correctly now (I kid)
- Pre heat oven to 350-375 degrees. On baking sheet, place sliced red pepper and whole cherry tomatoes tossed in olive oil and salt in the oven. Set timer for one hour.
- Meanwhile, place peeled garlic cloves in low simmering olive oil for 30-40 minutes, or until soft. Your house will smell amazing.
- When veggies and garlic are almost done, in a separate pan fry the sausages in bite sized pieces. I removed them from their casing for a more rustic feel (about 10 minutes over medium heat).
- To begin the sauce, in a medium sized frying pan, over high heat reduce wine to about 1/3 of liquid (about 4 minutes). Add butter and stir.
- Add capers and cream to the sauce and stir. (Tip: some capers are extremely salty, you may want to rinse them first). Remove two cloves of cooked garlic from the oil and break into the sauce. They should be very soft. Mix. Taste for salt and let simmer over low heat.
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water until desired level of done-ness (for me, about 6 minutes). Strain pasta and leave just a little bit of starchy water in the pot.
- Return pasta to pot with water and mix about 2/3 of the cream sauce into the pasta along with the sausage.
- Once plated, top with the peppers, tomatoes, three cloves of cooked garlic along with the remaining sauce.
- Garnish with spices and cheese.
I really liked how the peppers and tomatoes turned out. Super packed with flavour, and just a little bit charred. Yum.
Quick! Eat this now before all your January diets start! (Or just wait until March when winter becomes just too much to bear without food like this).
Tell me, what’s your favourite winter comfort food? Maybe I’ll feature it on the blog!
Christmas and New Years was a whirlwind. From December 23rd to the 2nd of January, my feet barely stepped foot in my own apartment, let alone the kitchen. Today was specifically planned to be a day with no plans. Sleep in, watch some episodes of Misfits (check it out), head to my favourite neighbourhood lunch spot (Zocalo at Bloor and Dundas West) and stock up on some groceries. Scheduling, obligations and rules of any kind were strictly forbidden today. We even skipped yoga.
Scott’s parents own a catering business and as a result, we inherited lots of leftover perishables, including a 10 lb bag of potatoes (!) a 10 lb bag of onions (!!) and another 10+ lb bag of carrots (!!!). So tonight we made big batches of caramelized onions, carrot ginger soup and potato leek soup.
The potato leek soup was the stand out winner here (unless eating fork-fulls of pure caramelized onions counts, but it doesn’t). It was the first time I’ve ever made it, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It turned out to be really fast, with great depth of flavour. This recipe is pretty healthy, being free of cream, and yet is still nice and creamy (and also happens to be vegan and gluten free). So hearty and satisfying!
Spicy Potato Leek Soup
- 1 large leek, rinsed and finely chopped (white and tender pale green parts only)
- 8-10 medium sized potatoes (lost count, sorry)
- 1 medium sized white onion, sliced finely
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- Water (about 6 cups, or just enough to cover the potatoes in a large pot)
- 1 cube vegetarian bouillon
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh pressed olive oil
- 2.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
- black pepper to taste
- Wash and chop potatoes into medium sized cubes and add to large pot. Fill pot with water just to cover and bring to a boil
- Add bay leaves, veggie stock and salt to water. Boil until potatoes are soft.
- Meanwhile, in frying pan, sauté leeks with garlic, onion and white wine until browned, soft and fragrant.
- When potatoes are cooked, add leeks, garlic and onion to pot with potatoes.
- Remove the bay leaves, and puree mixture until creamy and well incorporated.
- Add almond milk (can also use regular dairy) until desired consistency is reached. Add olive oil and blend well.
- Add parsley, black pepper and hot pepper flakes.
- Heat gently (do not boil) for a few more minutes, until heated through.
- Garnish with caramelized onions, croutons, cheese, or all of the above!
I picked up a spice mixture of peperoncino, aglio (garlic) and Italian parsley (prezzemolo) in a Roman market during my recent foray to Italy, and threw it in at the last minute. I’m glad I did, as the hot peppers added a nice, subtle kick and the parsley some colour. It really enhanced the recipe!
Tell me, what would you do with 10 lbs of potatoes?? (I’m asking because… there are still quite a few left over)