Linguini con Linguiça Balsamico
Yet another lazy man’s pasta recipe to share and if I may say, a rather ad hoc one. That’s one thing I love about having pasta for meals. It really depends on what is available and what is good in my fridge. Linguiça is basically Portuguese spicy pork sausages. Heat comes from paprika used in its curing process and that I love. In some ways, it likens the Italian pepperoni but yet the flavours are quite distinctively different.
I made this “Aglio e Olio” style, one of the easiest and fastest ways to eat pasta. The olive oil is first infused quickly with sliced garlic over low flame to bring out the flavours. I’d added bird’s eye chilli as well to perpetuate the heat from the linguica sausages and to accentuate it. I love spicy pasta! I’d also thrown in some stems from sweet basil to saute with the garlic and later the sliced sausages to impart flavour. The stems can be removed later.
As with cooking all pastas, some salt in the pasta cooking water helps to prevent the pasta from absorbing too much water. And since the pasta would probably be seasoned by the water in the cooking part, the final product hardly needs much seasoning. Only a generous dash of good balsamic vinegar to sharpen the taste and round off the flavours.
Bird’s eye chilli can also be replaced with chilli flakes but that would be added as part of the garnish at the end. If fresh pasta is used, the cooking process should be reversed with the sauteing of the ingredients done first as fresh pasta takes less than 2 minutes to cook.
Linguini con Linguiça Balsamico Recipe (for 1)
1 serving linguini dried or fresh. Can be replaced by other pasta varieties
1 Linguiça sausage. Can be replaced with other sausage varieties
1-2 bird’s eye chilli, sliced (depending on the level of heat desired)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
Some basil or chinese celery stalks, sectioned coarsely (optional)
1 generous tbsp of good olive oil (no need extra virgin)
Water for cooking pasta
1 tsp salt
Start by cooking pasta. To a pot of boiling water with salt, add pasta and cook accordingly to instructions on packaging until al dente. It should take somewhere between 10 to 13 min depending on type of pasta and brand.
While waiting for the pasta to cook, add olive oil to a saucepan over medium low flame. Add sliced sausages and saute in oil until the sides begin to brown and crisp up slightly. The sausages should begin to render some fat into the oil causing the fatty bits in the sausages to become slightly translucent.
Push sausages to one side of the pan and add sliced garlic and bird’s eye chilli and saute gently until aromatic. basil or chinese celery stalks can also be added together if using. Take note not to brown or burn the garlic slices at all times.
When pasta is ready, turn flame up to medium high, add cooked pasta and toss quickly with a pair of tongs to make sure that every strand is well coated. Add 1-2 tbsp of pasta cooking water if the pasta becomes too dry.
Turn off heat and plate. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and some extra virgin olive oil if desired over pasta and garnish with sweet basil leaves.
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