Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Cooking On the Fly

This slop doesn't look so appetizing I'm afraid, but believe me when I say it's tasty, tasty enough to save the left overs for lunch the next day, which is saying something. We throw out our share of mediocre food. I came up with this concoction in another round of cooking with what was on hand and without a recipe.

I had bought packaged tortellini and Niman Ranch sweet Italian sausage with the idea of making tortellini soup, but I decided to go another direction with the ingredients. I started with a medium sauce pan where I poured some olive oil and then added about a cup of diced onion. After the onions were soft, I added two cloves of minced garlic, and 30 second later, I added a healthy splash of Chardonnay. I let that simmer a minute until the wine began to evaporate, and then I added two medium cans of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, sugar. While that simmered, I boiled the tortellini and grated a bowl full of Parmesan.

When the pasta was ready, I drained it and stirred in enough mascarpone to make it creamy, then the sausage and most of the sauce and the Parmesan. I baked it at 375˚ for 20 minutes and dished it up, perfect for a rainy evening in September. I enjoyed it so much, I really am eagerly anticipating lunch time today.

I don't know what it is about the coming-on of fall and chilly temperatures and gray skies, but the change of seasons makes me inclined to curl up in the cozy den with a bowl of hot food, sit wrapped in a blanket and pull on some cozy socks. I get the blanket and the socks, actually, but it's the drive for comfort food that puzzles me. Maybe there is a speck of the brain left over from our prehistoric ancestors that says "get ready to hunker down for the winter," and like a bear, I prepare for hibernation.

Whatever the cause, this tomato-y, sausage-spiked pasta dish did the trick.


dive said...

Without the sugar and salt (and with home-made tortellini), one of my favourite dishes, Robyn. I just got home from work and checked your blog and now I'm going to have to go make something Italian for dinner.

Shan said...