No matter how bad a rap carbs get, I'm still a staunch advocate for the stuff. How anyone could go on a diet deliberately eschewing the stuff is a mystery to me. Although for the sake of your hips, I do know how the formidable temptation of starch can be too much to bear. And sometimes under the weight of that incredible urge you give in. All the way.
I'm going through a pasta phase right now. And I've had it almost everyday this past week. If there ever was a fixation in my life right now, aside from the shopping thing of course, which probably is more gender-based than anything else, this pasta thing is probably it.
The Italians really knew how to do carbs- with their beautiful breads and pasta, they really knew how to throw a carb party. I know that there's some contention concerning the true the origins of pasta, but it's without myth or lore that the Italians were the ones who made pasta their own art form. Turning this dough of wheat and eggs into a myriad of shapes and forms. If there is an Italian nearby, I suggest you go and give them a kiss.
But enough with public displays of affection; did I mention I have also fostered an addiction to Eumundi Smokehouse sausages. I've mentioned it before, how I go ga-ga over their range of gourmet sausages and not to mention their chorizo. And although a kilo of the Russian Farmer's sausages will set you back over $30; it must be all that Vodka in it, there's no price you should put on good taste.
And you know a good thing when you smell it, as you enter their small shop in Dulwich Hill, you are hit by the aroma of spices and a curtain of smoked meat hanging from a bar suspended above the counter. Everywhere you look it's meat. And there's something to be admired about a butcher who doesn't hold back with the spices and the booze. I say the more the merrier.
Their products are all made of natural ingredients and contain no preservatives. So it's best to eat them as soon as you buy them, which is really nothing to complain about. The sausages I used for this pasta were their lamb merguez sausages, a combination of lamb, red wine, coriander, parsley, pepper, mint and chilli. When fried, it exudes a perfume that rouses the palate and gets any carnivore's attention.
And why not put the two loves together, pasta and sausages. It's simple gourmet, and I'm sure country folk everywhere tending to pasturelands in the back of nowhere have been enjoying the staple of pasta and sausages for a long time wouldn't even bat an eyelid at this dish, but it's classics like these that never go wrong. I'm not sure if an Italian would call this dish a real classic, but it's simple enough with pasta, sausages, tomatoes and a splash of white wine thrown in for good measure.
I can't think of a better way to relieve those autumn cravings for comfort than with a classic pasta dish. You can use pretty much any shape you want, I like slurping my way through it, so linguine was the way to go, but if you prefer the pasta without the loud, sloppy sucking then penne or rigatoni would do just as well.
402 New Canterbury Road,
Dulwich Hill, NSW
Phone: (02) 95690205
Opening Hours: Thur-Fri 11am to 6pm; Sat 7am to 2pm
Their products are also available at a number of gourmet farmers markets and gourmet food stores. Contact Eumundi for more stockists.
Sausage and Capsicum Linguine
Adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller
6 (750g) sausages, skins removed and chopped into 4cm slices
1 red capsicum
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
50g (1⁄4 cup) tomato paste
50ml dry white wine
1 can (400g) crushed tomatoes
½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
500g dried linguine
freshly grated parmesan, to serve
Roast the capsicum in a preheated oven at 220ºC for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and peel skin off.
Deseed and cut capsicum into 2cm-wide strips.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add sausages and cook over medium heat, turning, for 5 minutes or until golden. Transfer sausages to a bowl.
Add onion and garlic and sauté over low-medium heat for 3 minutes or until softened, add chilli and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add tomato paste and stir for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens, then add sausage, capsicum and white wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat sausages and reducing liquid by half.
Add tomatoes, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce is thick.
Stir through parsley.
Meanwhile, cook linguine in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente.
Drain and transfer linguine to the frying pan and combine with sauce.
Divide sauced linguine among plates and top with any remaining sauce from frying pan and serve with parmesan.