Sunday, November 11, 2007

Foglie D'Autunno with Roasted Veggies & Merguez

Foglie D’Autunno with Merguez & Roasted Fall Veggies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves 4

250 g/9 oz Castellano Foglie D’autunno (or other short pasta like Farfalle)

Roasted Fall Vegetable "Sauce":
2 cups each:
Brussels sprouts (I prefer using smaller ones for this dish), halved with yellowed leaves & brown bottoms removed
Cremini mushrooms halved or quartered, depending on size
Beets, (small ones quartered, large ones halved) don’t peel until after they’ve roasted
Cooking pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into 1” cubes

Good olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1tbsp fresh thyme leaves (I’d use just a little less of the dried if you can’t find fresh)
1 –2 tsp maple syrup

3 large Merguez sausages (if you can't find merguez, fresh chorizo is wonderful too or any other spicy sausage)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C

2. Line lipped baking sheets and/or cake tins with foil for easy clean up. I do separate pans as follows so that I don’t overcook any of the vegetables:
Brussels sprouts & mushrooms
Beets (I actually wrap the beets with the foil)
Pumpkin or squash cubes

3. Toss each of the vegetables with a drizzle of good olive oil and some sea salt & freshly ground pepper. Additional seasoning for the pumpkin – drizzle of maple syrup and thyme.

4. Roast until each type of vegetable is fork tender, but still has some crunch to it. No mushy veggies, please, so check the oven after 15 minutes and remove as they are ready. This step can take up to 40 minutes or they might surprise you and all be ready at 20.

5. In the meantime, get the water boiling in a large Dutch oven and don’t forget to add salt once the water comes to a boil.

6. Let the beets cool a bit before peeling. I cut them into chunks too so all the veggies were roughly the same size. Put all the veggies in a large bowl and cover with foil. Set aside while the pasta cooks al dente.

6. While the water is boiling and once the veggies are cooked, broil the Merguez sausages (5 minutes per side if they’re large, less if they’re the skinny kind I remember from Montreal). Slice into 1” rounds and add to the veggies.

8. Once the pasta is cooked (5-7 minutes), drain and add to the sausage and veggie mix. Toss and add more seasonings to taste. This is a very dry sauce with way more meat and vegetables than pasta. Merguez tend to be very spicy so I would taste before adding more salt or pepper. A sprinkle of thyme is always lovely though.

I served this with a salad of crunchy Romaine Hearts and with a Wild Ginger Dressing.

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