Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cellentani with Chorizo, Arugula and Parmesan Tomato Crème

     Contemporary Southwestern Style Pasta!
     Arugula is a popular lettuce green in health oriented restaurants, but relatively few modern chefs actually cook Arugula.  Arugula is used to make many hot cooked recipes in the Mediterranean region.  There is a traditional Italian pizza that is topped with only Arugula, which I have seen offered in old school Italian restaurants and an Arugula Pizza really is something special.
     The mild spicy flavor of Chorizo Sausage goes well with the peppery flavor of Arugula.  There are a few kinds of Chorizo and the one to look for is a Spanish or Portuguese Sausage that is made with an edible casing.  Spanish style Chorizo is sold in long links or as a long rope sausage.  Mexican Style Chorizo is a fine ground bulk sausage that has a very high fat content.  The paprika flavored fat may be used to flavor recipes, but Mexican Style Chorizo Sausage is not well suited for a cream sauce pasta because the grease would more than likely separate from the sauce.  
     Combining fresh tomato with tomato paste creates a nice flavor contrast that is perfect for a cream and cheese sauce.  The tomato paste adds depth, while the fresh tomato lightens the sauce on the palate.  Parmigiana Cheese is the classic choice for a cream and cheese pasta.  Italian Parmigiana pairs well with a tomato crème sauce.  The mild spicy flavor of Chorizo and peppery Arugula adds zest to a Tomato Parmigiana Crème Sauce.
     Cellentani with Chorizo, Arugula and Parmesan Tomato Crème:
     This recipe yields 1 pasta entrée.
     Spanish style Chorizo is sold raw or cooked.  If Raw Spanish Chorizo is selected, roast the sausage in a 300ºF oven till it is fully cooked, then chill the sausage so it can be easily sliced.
     The Italian cardinal rule of pasta is to only make enough sauce to coat the pasta with flavor.  Pasta that is swimming in excess sauce is not desirable at all. 
     Step 1:  Cook 1 portion of Cellentani Pasta in a pot of boiling water over medium high heat till it is al dente.
     Cool the pasta under cold running water.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Set the pasta aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add 2 cloves of minced garlic.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely minced onion.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 3:  Add 4 ounces of thin sliced cooked Spanish style Chorizo Sausage.  (About 3/16" thick.)
     Sauté the Chorizo till a few golden highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Add 1/3 cup of diced peeled seeded fresh plum tomato.  (concasse)
     Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Briefly sauté till the tomato starts to cook.
     Step 5:  Add 1 teaspoon of minced fresh basil.
     Add 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped Arugula Leaves.
     Add 1 small pinch of Mexican Oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Briefly sauté till the Arugula wilts.
     Step 6:  Add 1 1/4 cups of cream.
     Stir the sauce.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 1/3 cup of fine grated Parmigiana Cheese while stirring.
     Stir till the cheese melts into the sauce.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Step 8:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan.
     Occasionally toss the ingredients together till the pasta reheats.
     Step 9:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Mound the pasta on the center of a plate.
     Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon finely grated Parmigiana Cheese over the pasta.
     Garnish with a small basil sprig.

     Cellentani with Chorizo, Arugula and Parmesan Tomato Crème is a gentle tasting pasta that will please guests!

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