Fettuccine pasta with field vegetables and fresh sausage!
Its been quite some time since I have cooked this nice Italian pasta. I learned this recipe in a small Italian family restaurant several years ago. The owner was the chef. He was never formally trained in Italian cooking, but he did have a few authentic Italian entrees on the menu.
The menu was full of very middle of the road Americanized Italian food. The chef knew that most of his clientele were tourists from the American midwest. Most midwestern people are not very adventurous when it comes to eating authentic european food. The restaurant was busiest when the midwestern tourists were in town for the warm Florida winter. During the slow business season of the hot Florida summer, the locals would dine at other Italian restaurants that served truly authentic Italian cuisine. Some chefs refuse to adjust their menu for a seasonal change of clientele. That family restaurant was stuck in a feast or famine business routine from one tourist season to the next.
What was funny to me was that the few authentic Italian food items that he had on the menu, were the worst selling items on the menu. I knew I was working in the wrong kitchen after the first few days on that job. After apprenticing fine Italian cuisine for a few years at some great fine dining restaurants, I found myself at that family restaurant, slopping sauce on overcooked pasta just like how the owner wanted the food to be served.
The campagnola pasta was the only recipe that I liked on the entire menu at that restaurant. Surprisingly, the campagnola pasta was also the worst selling item on the menu! The midwestern clientele that dined in that restaurant rarely ordered the campagnola pasta.
The chef made this pasta recipe with chicken like many people do. In Italy, chicken is rarely used in a pasta, and chicken is not often seen on restaurant menus. In America, Italian chefs usually put 1 or 2 chicken items on a menu, because chicken is popular here.
Traditionally pasta campagnola is a vegetable pasta that has no meat in the recipe. Many Italians like to add sausage or meat to the recipe. I personally prefer fresh Italian sausage in a pasta campagnola, because the flavor of the sauteed vegetables goes well with sausage. Meat or no meat, pasta campagnola is a very nice Italian pasta entree!
Fettuccine Campagnola a Salsiccia:
Bake a sweet Italian sausage in a 400 degree oven till it is fully cooked and very light brown in color.
Cool the sausage.
Cut about 5 or 6 ounces of the sausage into thin slices.
Set the portion of sausage slices aside. (Save any extra sausage for another recipe or snack.)
Cook 1 portion of fettuccine pasta in boiling water, till it becomes al dente.
Drain the hot water off of the pasta.
Cool the pasta under cold running water.
Drain the water off of the pasta.
Toss the pasta with a tiny splash of olive oil.
Set the pasta aside.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 2 1/2 ounces of olive oil.
Add 1 small handful of thick slices of peeled russet potato, that have been cut into fourths. (About 1/3 of a russet potato is plenty.)
Pan fry the potatoes, till they become a golden brown color.
Add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
Saute the garlic till it becomes golden colored.
Add 1/4 cup of sliced of celery.
Add 1/4 cup of sliced onion.
Saute till the celery and onions just start to turn clear in color.
Add the reserved sliced Italian sausage.
Add 1/2 cup of thick bite size pieces of unpeeled eggplant.
Saute for 1 minute.
Add 1/3 cup of thick zucchini slices that are cut into quarters.
Add 3 or 4 small portabella mushrooms that are cut into wedge shapes.
Add 1/3 cup of large bite size pieces of mixed red and green bell pepper.
Add 1 green onion that is cut into medium size pieces.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
Add 1 pinch of basil.
Add 1 pinch of oregano.
Add 1 pinch of crushed red pepper.
Add 3 pinches of finely chopped Italian parsley.
Saute the vegetables, till they become al dente.
Add 1/3 cup of rich chicken broth.
Add the portion of al dente cooked fettuccine pasta.
Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
Toss the pasta, sausage and vegetables together.
Place the pasta campagnola on a plate.
Try to expose a little bit of each ingredient on the surface of the pasta.
Sprinkle some finely grated pecorino romano cheese over the pasta.
Garnish with Italian parsley sprigs.
The flavor of the Italian herbs, olive oil, sausage and field vegetables is simple and delicious! Potatoes slices are required in this pasta campagnola recipe.
I have posted an authentic spring vegetable Pasta Primavera recipe in my blog too. There is no comparing primavera to compagnola. The flavors are quite different. Contadina style vegetable pasta is another recipe that I will post sometime soon.
This fettuccine campagnola with sausage is so very yummy! Ciao Baby! ... Shawna