Monday, May 30, 2016

Conchiglioni with Italian Sausage

One of the best things about pasta is that it's so versatile and there are many different types to choose from.  However the ultimate bonus about pasta is that it is nearly everyone's go-to comfort food.
There is always an air of excitement when the family know pasta is on the menu - pasta is always normally easy to prepare and easy to eat. 
This recipe was one of the easiest but flavour packing sauces I have made. In fact I cannot believe the pasta took nearly as long to boil as it did to make the sauce.  Minimal ingredients were used which is also a bonus.  If you do not have the Conchiglioni (large pasta shells) and pasta will be perfectly fine for this recipe.
The flavours of fennel, chilli, garlic and parsley were perfect with the pork mince - literally this was the insides of store-brought Italian sausages... yep you read right - store-brought sausages.  Some tinned tomatoes, cream and seasoning and voila - dinner is served!!
You must give this recipe a go.....

Conchiglioni with Italian Sausage
(Recipe adapted from Australian Women's Weekly)

Serves: 6
SmartPoints per serve: 14

1 kilogram Italian-style sausages
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons cream
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
500g conchiglioni (large shell pasta, see Cook's Note)
1⁄3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Make a slit along the length of the sausages and remove sausage meat, discard skins.

Heat a large frying pan over high heat, coarsely crumble sausage meat into the pan and cook, stirring, until browned. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Discard fat.

Heat oil in the same pan over low-medium heat, add garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until fragrant but not coloured. Increase heat, add tomatoes and sausage meat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until sauce is thick. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in cream and half the basil.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in plenty of rapidly boiling, well-salted water until al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add pasta to sauce mixture, stir to combine. Remove from heat, stir through parmesan. If mixture feels dry, add some of the pasta cooking water. Serve sprinkled with remaining basil leaves.


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