The Simple Fix
On a cold winter day, a rich plate of pasta can soothe the soul and provide much needed warmth when the sun is replaced with grey skies and cold rain. This recipe serves 4 so there may be comforting leftovers for the next day too!
5 cloves garlic
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 Tbsp olive oil
250 g pasta (for this recipe we used Garofalo type)
2 spicy Italian sausages, casing removed
1 Tbsp butter
1 red onion, sliced
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
3 bell peppers of various colours, seeded and sliced Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup beer (a crisp lager is recommended)
1 cup feta cheese, cut in small cubes
1 cup fresh herbs chopped (basil, chives, and parsley)
Parmesan cheese, optional, to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the garlic and olives and 1 Tbsp of oil in a baking dish and toss to coat. Roast for 15 minutes or until the garlic is tender.
Peel and mash the garlic and set all aside in a large mixing bowl.
Boil a pan of salted water and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
Crumble the meat of the sausages in a frying pan. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the outside is golden brown. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. If there is a lot of fat left in the pan, discard most of it.
Heat remaining oil and the butter in the same pan, add onion, mushrooms, and peppers and cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Once onion and peppers are slightly caramelized, season with salt and pepper, stir, and cook 1 more minute. Return the sausage to the pan together with the vegetables and pour the beer over top, letting the liquid reduce by half. Stir occasionally, about 3 minutes. Place all in a mixing bowl, add the pasta, feta, and fresh herbs. Toss well and serve in individual pasta dishes.
Serve with a glass of your favourite red wine to complete the comfort.