Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Oct 9, 2012

Pasta with Burrata, Sausage, Mushrooms & Fennel

Libations used: 1/3 cup white wine
Libations left over: Pretty much the whole bottle, so serve with dinner...
The Lush Chef was dealing with some neck pain this past weekend, and sadly didn't make it out to the market. I happened to have a bunch of mushrooms and fennel in the fridge and needed to find a recipe that wouldn't involve a ton of strenuous chopping and stirring.  A pasta seemed like the ideal solution, and Tasting Table's recipe for Pasta Scraps with Burrata, Sausage, Mushroom & Fennel was already utilizing some ingredients I had at home.  I just had to run out and pick up some burrata and sausages (I used Trader Joe's Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage) to complete the dish.  I had some orecchiette that had been sitting in the pantry for a while, as opposed to pasta scraps, so use whatever you have!  You can use any dry white wine for the recipe.  I opted for Toasted Head Chardonnay - a $6 bottle at Trader Joe's that I'm a fan of.  I also nearly doubled the amount of mushrooms and fennel used in this recipe.  As I was cooking them up, it just didn't seem like enough for the amount of pasta that was being cooked.  To top it off, I used my favorite finishing salt - Hepp's Murray River Salt - a beautiful and flavorful, yellowish flaky salt.  And because I loooove burrata, I'd probably double that too if I was serving to guests.  1 just isn't enough...
Pasta with Burrata, Sausage, Mushrooms & Fennel - serves 4
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 lb mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed and sausage crumbled or cut up
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and fronds reserved
  • 2 1/2 cups cremini mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used Toasted Head Chardonnay)
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 lb pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • 1-2 balls of burrata
  • Flaky sea salt
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil.
- Add the sausage and cook until browned and cooked through (about 5-7 minutes).
- Meanwhile, get a big pot of salted water boiling for your pasta.
- Remove the sausage from the pan and drain off the fat, leaving at least 1 Tbs in the pan. I didn't have much fat left over at all, so I just added more olive oil to the pan.
- Add the shallot, garlic, fennel and mushrooms to the pan and cook until they're translucent and tender (7-10 minutes).
- Add the wine and tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the sausage back into the pan and season with salt and pepper, if needed (I didn't need any).
- Hopefully, you've started cooking your pasta by now.  It should be al dente, and don't forget to save about a cup of pasta water.
- When the pasta is done cooking, add it to the pot with the sausage and veggie mixture.
- Ladle in some pasta water until the pasta is creamy. 
- Spoon the pasta into bowls or on plates, and top with burrata, fennel fronds and some sea salt.


lynn said...

there really isn't anything better than burrata!!!