After two days in Vegas, which was SO fun, I was ready to get back into the kitchen. Lucky for me I was traveling to San Rafael, CA to visit with my Brother Bill, his wonderful wife Sharon, and my adorable niece Chelsea!!! So, as we were driving to Whole Foods, Sharon asked what if anything I wanted to do regarding dinner, saying that nobody expected me to cook, but if I wanted to, I was more than welcome to indulge in the kitchen. I immediately stated “there was nothing I’d rather do”. My mind immediately went into meal planning mode…. not really hearing what anybody was saying after that.
Okay, lets see, we’re headed for pasta, but with what….hhhmmmmm. Oh, I know, Chicken Sausage, lots of wild mushrooms, maybe some artichoke hearts and fresh basil. Turns out that my most favorite store in the world, Whole Foods, had a beautiful chicken with basil and garlic sausage. What a find! And, as always, the finest ingredients available. What about a sauce? Well, how about a butter/olive oil mix to keep down the bad fats, (only 4 TBLS butter in this whole dish) white wine, and some broth from the plumping of the porcini mushrooms. A little of this, and a little of that… and all of a sudden a new creation was born.
Bill later asked where I found this recipe. I told him that it had just come to me on the way to the store. My brain acts very much like a foodie amusement park ride! At one moment like a Roller coaster that is as fast as lightning, making you throw your arms in the air and scream at the top of your lungs. And at other times like a Ferris wheel which turns in a slow and relaxing way, rocking you gently, and lifting you up into the sky where you ultimately stop, sit back and bask in the view below. Sometimes, my brain even acts like a fun house where I can get lost in a maze of mirrors reflecting big and small, wide and tall, images back at me! Ideas are abundant in my foodie amusement park, and ingredients, recipes and flavor combinations, just pop out of thin air!!! Life is good here. It reminds me of the antiquated E ticket at Disneyland a place where my brother Bill and I spent many days as kids running wildly from one ride to the next!!!
Wild Mushroom, Artichoke Hearts, Basil- Garlic and Chicken Sausage w/White Wine Mushroom Butter Sauce:
4 Chicken Basil-Garlic Sausages boiled for 10 minutes and removed to a plate to let cool, once cooled cut on diagonal in to 1/2 inch pieces
2 Cans Artichoke Hearts drained and cut in half, set aside
10 oz. Chefs Sampler Wild Mushrooms
5 oz. Baby Shitakes
1 sm. package dryed Porcini, plumped as per directions on package w/2 cups water, drained and liquid kept to use in sauce, but remember there’s sand in these so allow to cool, and carefully take about a cup off the top and discard the rest.
2 TBLS Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dryed Marjoram
1 tsp. dryed Thyme
3 cloves Garlic Pressed or grated finely
1/2-3/4 cup good white wine, a Chardonnay was what I used
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 package fresh Basil leaves
1 package angel hair pasta, cooked in salted water
Parmesan cheese, to pass at table
In a large skillet over med high heat, put:
2 TBLS. unsalted butter
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cut up Sausage and brown on all sides, remove pan from heat, remove sausage to plate.
Put back on med high heat
Add to pan,
2 more TBLS. butter and a little more oil if you need it.
Add All Mushrooms,
brown and, put sausage back in pan and then (deglaze) meaning: Pour in pan:
Add wine and mushroom liquid.
Reduce heat to low,
Add all other ingredients, except fresh Basil, Parmesan Cheese, and Pasta
Stir together, and cook just a few minutes, until all ingredients are mixed and sauce has thickened, remove from heat. Pour over cooked angel hair and toss gently.
Have ready a Chiffonade of Basil leaves, meaning roll them up together tightly and thinly slice,
to sprinkle over “Plated” Pasta.
Serve with parmesan to pass at table.
And as always, Enjoy!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010