Yesterday was more or less uneventful (in a good way) until about 5.45pm when myself, my daughter, and my friend Lori left Blair Vineyards where we stopped in to say hello to our new acquaintance Richard Blair, and, to buy a couple of bottles of his excellent Cabernet Franc for dinner that evening.
The pleasant country ride back home was suddenly interrupted when my car came to a complete and utter stop right before I was about to turn onto a busier stretch of road! After a few attempts at starting it again, and a quizzical look at the engine I made the phone call to be rescued. At first my daughter felt a bit uneasy about being stranded, but, when she saw that the road we were on was more or less devoid of traffic she began to see it as an opportunity to whoop it up, barefoot! I have to admit, it was a beautiful day and we couldn’t have been stranded in a more picturesque spot.
We didn’t get back until way past when dinner should have been underway and I was in a bit of a fog about what to make? Then I remembered when at the Vineyard, Richard had inquired about what I had planned to make for dinner? I told him I rarely plan, and had no idea! He told me he had gotten some sausage from a local butcher and was going to do something with it (along with something else which I can’t remember?). As we were leaving with our wine he popped a piece of the sausage into my bag, and now, it was going to save me. I had plenty of vegetables and 3 boxes of spaghetti with a few strands left in each, so, along with the sausage I could pull something together without having to hitch-hike to the supermarket! Thank you Richard!
This dish couldn’t have been more unplanned. I literally made decisions about what to do next right before I dropped an ingredient into the waiting pan. We all loved how it turned out, and, surprisingly no one was upset about eating dinner at nearly 10pm at night. I wonder what adventures are in store for me today!
You will Need: 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 lb seasoned sausage, removed from casing, 1 onion, diced, 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped, 2 cups sugar snap peas, 1 head leafy lettuce (butter or boston), 3 plum tomatoes, skinned and slices (I used plum tomatoes from a can which were already peeled), 1 tbs tomato paste, 1/4 cup chopped, mixed herbs (parsley, oregano & winter or summer savory), 1/2 cup white wine, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 1/2 cups water, 3/4 lb spaghetti, broken into 2″ lengths (don’t break until adding to the cooking liquid), sea-salt and several grinds of black pepper, 8 pieces of bacon (optional).
Get ingredients assembled and prepped as instructed above. If you are going to have bacon with this (was lovely, by the way), then put it on to cook immediately, and set aside when cooked.
1 – Place big saute pan on medium/low heat and add oil. Saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes.
2 – Pull the sausage meat into small bite-sized pieces and drop into pan. Cook for about 4 minutes while breaking it up further in the pan and stirring with a wooden spoon. Add peas and turn heat up to medium. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes more while stirring peas.
3 – Add herbs and stir. Add wine and let the liquid come to a slight bubble. Cook for about 1 minute like this.
4 – Add the rest of the liquids, along with the tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
5 – Break the spaghetti into the pan and stir everything together. Turn heat down until it is simmering gently. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes or until the pasta is soft but still toothsome. Taste broth for salt and pepper and adjust according to your taste.
6 – Add the lettuce and cover. Leave it to wilt for about 3 minutes and then give everything a stir.