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Author Notes: For those of you that have ever scratched your heads wondering what a deconstructed meal is my deconstructed pesto is a good example. I took a dish, in this case pesto, took all of the ingredients in that pesto, broke them apart, prepared them separately and in a different way, and then put them back together on the same plate to form a new dish. It was created for Charcutepalooza and inspired by my daughter's favorite pasta sauce. This is a really good, really special meal. If you make the pasta ahead of time and freeze it then this is not a very difficult meal to pull together. Although no one will guess that when they sit down at the table.
Basil Pasta (makes one pound)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup packed, fresh basil leaves
- 1 cake semolina flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs; at room temperature
- In the bowl of a food processor puree the basil leaves and the olive oil. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the semolina flour, all purpose flour, and salt. Mix until well Incorporated. Make a well in the center of the flours. Crack the eggs into the well and add in the basil puree. Using a fork, blend the ingredients in the well, slowly drawing in the flour until everything is combined into a dough.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour and transfer the dough to that surface. Knead the dough until it feels smooth, about 8- 10 minutes.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for 1/2 an hour.
- Using either a pasta machine or a rolling pin roll out your pasta and cut it into fettucini width noodles.
- At this point the pasta can be used or frozen for later use.
Deconstructed Pesto with a Saute of Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
- Basil pasta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 8 cloves of garlic; roasted and then mashed in a bowl with a fork
- 1 egg yolk; slightly beaten
- 4 ounces parmesan cheese; grated. Plus more for topping
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion; sliced thin
- 1 red pepper; sliced thin
- 4 sweet Italian sausage links; sliced into 3/4 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup pine nuts; toasted. For topping
- Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the heavy cream, the half and half, and whisk in the roasted garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cream is reduced by 1/4, about 10 minutes.
- Stir a generous spoonful of the cream into a bowl with the egg yolk, , then return the mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the cream, mixing well. Add in the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set on a back burner with a lid on to keep warm.
- In a large saute pan over medium heat warm the oilve oil. Once the olive oil is heated add in the sweet Italian sausage. Once the sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage from pan with a slotted spoon, to a plate and set aside. In the same saute pan now add the pepper and onion. Saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Put the sausage back in the pan and mix it into the pepper and onion.
- While the pepper an onion are sauteing cook the basil pasta. Remember that since you are using fresh pasta it will only take a couple of minutes for the pasta to cook.
- Drain pasta and place it in a serving bowl. Mix half of the roasted garlic cream sauce into the pasta then pour the remaining half over the pasta. Top with the sausage, pepper, and onion saute. Finish with a sprinkling of parmesan and pine nuts. Serve immediately.