When we lived in Connecticut we had a favorite restaurant we would visit every week. The ambiance was homey, the food was delicious, and the owners and staff treated us like family. They would let our little toddler sit at their small bar while we were waiting for a table, treating her like royalty. We literally ate there every week and one of us ordered this pasta dish almost every time. It's one of those delicious dishes that you crave and regret when you didn't order it.
Before we left Connecticut for our big move to California, I helped organize a fundraising cookbook for the Family & Children's Agency China program. The owners at the restaurant graciously donated the recipe to be part of our cookbook. It is still a family favorite. And now I hope it will be one of yours, too.
Pappardelle Il Forno
Cook time: 15 minutes
10 oz bag of Pappardelle pasta, wide noodles, or egg noodles
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage, or link sausage with casings removed, divided into 1" bites (pork or turkey. We like spicy pork!)
10 oz small baby Bella mushrooms, cut in fourths
1 large shallot diced
2, 8oz cans of plum tomato sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup cream
2 oz brandy, or splash of red wine
2 T unsalted butter
salt to taste
pepper to taste
fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
In a large saute pan heat 2 T olive oil until hot. Brown sausage, then add shallots and cook for a minute. Add brandy (or wine) to deglaze the pan. Cook for a minute. Add fresh mushrooms, peas, salt and pepper. Saute for a minute. Add plum tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low.
Boil pasta noodles in salted water while sauce is simmering. Drain pasta. Add to sauce. Add butter, and Parmesan cheese. Toss together. Garnish with parsley.