Monday, February 27, 2012

Pork and Apple Pasta

Pork, Apple and Walnut Pasta with Sage-Mustard Cream

This is a really elegant recipe that's sooooo good on a cool Autumn evening (or in the early spring, when the seasonal produce isn't up yet and all that's still good are onions and apples). It's definitely a rustic dish, so make sure to rough chop all the ingredients in order to get some nice textural contrasts in each bite. Full of spicy-sweet-rich flavor, it's a great dish for company and it tastes even better the next day!

Use a compact twisty pasta like Fusili or Bow Ties that will mix well and hold the sauce. I used fun seasonal pasta shapes from World Market in the photo above.

Serves 4-6


Pasta Mix
1/2 lb Ground Italian Sausage
1/2 lb Ground Pork
4 Cloves Garlic, diced fine
1/2 Onion, chopped roughly
1 Apple, firm, unpeeled, chopped roughly (Galas work best)
1/4 C Walnuts, chopped roughly
1 Tbl Red Chili flakes (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 C Fresh Sage, chopped roughly (Sub 2 Tbl dried sage)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a very large pot or skillet, saute the garlic, onion, sausage and pork for 2 minutes over medium heat, or until the onions start to soften. Add the sage and chili flakes and continue to saute until the meat is cooked through and the mixture is well combined. Remove from heat, stir in the apples and walnuts. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.

Sage-Mustard Cream Sauce
1/2 Small Shallot, diced fine
1 tsp Butter
1 C Cream
1/4 C Yellow Mustard (any mustard but dijon, really)
1/4 C Fresh Sage, chopped roughly (Sub 2 Tbl dried sage)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, saute the shallot, butter and sage over medium heat until the shallot softens and turns transluscent. Turn down to medium-low, add the cream and stir occasionally until the cream warms through. Add the mustard and bring the mixture to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. It should thicken - add more mustard if it doesn't. Turn down to low to keep warm and cover.

Boil and drain the pasta, then add the pasta and sauce to the meat mixture and toss to combine.

Garnish With
Freshly Ground Pepper
Fried Sage Leaves

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