New Year’s Eve with kids means that we’re staying in to spend time together, and cooking a great meal. This is a little more trouble than your normal pasta dish, but that’s what I look for when making a special meal. The sauce is very creamy despite having no butter or cream. The sparking wine cuts the richness and pairs really well with this dish.
2.5 links Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled
2 medium zucchini, diced (about 1 pound)
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced (about 1 pound)
4 large shallots, large dice (about 1 pound)
1 head garlic, roasted
3 anchovy filets
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¾ c dry white wine (Acrobat Pinot Gris)
1 tsp chicken stock base (Better Than Bullion, low sodium)
½ c water
16 oz fresh pasta
Roast Veggies. Preheat oven to 425 degrees; convection if you have it. Toss the zucchini, eggplant and shallots in olive oil, and spread on a large sheet pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt. Roast veggies until golden, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside; can be done ahead.
For the garlic, chop off the top of the head. Place in foil, drizzle with olive oil, seal up and roast in oven until soft – about 30-40 minutes. Can be done ahead; roasted garlic freezes well.
Sauce. In a large pan over high heat, preheat the pan with some olive oil. Add the sausage in bite-sized pieces and brown well. Remove the sausage to a plate lined with paper towel, reserving the fat in the pan.
To the fat, add the minced anchovies and red pepper flake. Raise the heat to medium-high, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Add the roasted garlic, mashing it into the sauce until it incorporates.
Deglaze the pan with white wine, simmering rapidly to reduce until you no longer smell alcohol. Then add stock base and water, and continue to simmer until very thick, about 20-30 minutes. This can be done in advance.
Bring it together. Boil the fresh pasta for about 2 minutes. Reserve the pasta water, and add the pasta to the sauce. Bring pan to medium heat, adding about 1 cup of pasta water, stirring to coat well. You will likely need to add another ½ cup of pasta water, or as needed to reach a creamy consistency. Add the sausage and roasted veggies. Allow the pasta to finish cooking – about 1 minute more.
Serve with a dry sparking Italian wine.
Happy New Year!