Mario Batali’s Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage

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It’s Thanksgiving Eve. It’s snowing, I’m curled up watching Guardians of the Galaxy, and thus far this week, I’ve cooked meal after meal to my heart’s content. It doesn’t get quite better than this.

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Having a family that loves to cook and appreciates a good meal, any trip home will no doubt be filled with a few home cooked meals.. and thankfully, this means I get full range to use my loving parents as guinea pigs to my cooking whims.

It seemed like a no brainer then to make this Marlo Batali recipe that I’ve been holding onto for some time now. Not only were we going to make it, but I figured we might as well make the fresh pasta ourselves and so tucked in between way too many clothes than any one person would need for a week vacation and more books than one person could read in that same amount of time was my handy pasta machine!

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Fresh PastaThis recipe was surprisingly good! The flavor combination – one of peas and mint in the filling – on first glance seemed like it wouldn’t work… especially when paired with a spicy sausage tomato sauce. And I’ve never been a huge fan of peas… 

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage

But I gotta say… this pasta was amazing. Everything paired so nicely together and it’s always so satisfying making fresh pasta from scratch.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage

While I handled the pasta, rolling out sheet after sheet and cranking out these little ravioli, my stepdad worked on the sauce. We made a little improvised tomato, cajun andouille sausage, sauted onion sauce flavored with herbs that was chunky and a little spicy… it went great with the morsels of pea and mint in the ravioli.

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage

The pasta added a hint of herbaceous freshness that was bright in comparison to the heavy sauce. It was really incredible how well this recipe worked… and frankly, I shouldn’t have been so shocked. When has Mario Batali ever led me astray?

Breakfast in Bed(stuy) / Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage

All in all, a great meal and a great night back home in Maryland. It was a day spent shopping for ingredients with my Dad and then making homemade pasta while we all caught up and talked; snacking on cheese and sipping wine while the meal came together, all to be blown away with what we had collectively created. It really doesn’t get any better than this.

Mario Batali’s Mint Love Letters with Spicy Sausage
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound frozen peas
  • 1 bunch mint leaves
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 pound spicy sausage
Instructions
  1. Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.
  2. Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in ½-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.
  3. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Set up an ice bath nearby. Submerge the peas into the boiling water and cook until tender yet still bright green, 1-2 minutes. Remove the peas with a slotted spoon, reserving the boiling water, and plunge them into the ice bath to cool. Once the peas have cooled, remove them from the ice bath and allow to dry on a plate lined with paper towels. Using the same water, blanch the mint leaves for just 10-15 seconds. Transfer immediately to the ice bath. Drain well.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peas, mint, Parmigiano-Reggiano and heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper and pulse to form a smooth paste.
  5. Using a pasta machine, roll out the pasta dough on the thinnest setting and then cut the pasta sheets into 3-inch squares. Place 1 tablespoon of the pea filling on each square and fold over to form rectangles. Continue filling and shaping until all the pasta and filling are used. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  6. Sauté the sausage in a medium saucepan until cooked. In a medium saucepan, bring the tomato sauce to a boil.
  7. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Drain the pasta and divide among bowls. Spoon sauce over the pasta and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
 

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