Seasonal Recipe: Bocconcini Pasta with Turkey Ragu, Sweet Summer Peas and Vine Ripened Tomatoes

 

Ingredients:

  • 300gms Bocconcini pasta or Rigatoni.
  • 2 finely minced shallots.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic.
  • 200gms turkey sausage (casing removed).
  • 100gms fresh or frozen green peas.
  • 50gms sugar snap peas.
  • 75gms vine ripened cherry tomatoes.
  • 50gms parmesan cheese plus more.
  • 35 ml cream (half and half or 35%)
  • 4 tablespoons basil pesto.
  • 50ml white wine.
  • Fresh thyme as much as you want.
  • Extra virgin olive oil as needed.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method:

  1. Fill a large heavy bottomed pot with water and salt. Cover with a lid and bring to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling add in your pasta and cook anywhere between 2 to 3 minutes lesser than what is written on the bag. Drain the pasta and immediately drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. DO NOT rinse the pasta under running water. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan, add the olive oil and garlic. Allow the garlic time to flavor the oil, approximately 30 to 40 seconds in the pan on a medium heat.  Once the captivating aroma of the garlic is sensed by you add in your shallots. Saute on a medium heat for approximately a minute and a half or until the shallots turn translucent. Add a pinch of salt to the pan. This allows the shallots to release their sugars faster and in turn become sweeter.
  3. Using your hands, add in the turkey sausage around the pan trying not to throw it all in at once. This would result in the meat boiling rather than caramelizing and breaking up to start the formation of a ragu. Stir frequently till all the meat is cooked and broken down evenly. Try to avoid big chunks of sausage.
  4. Deglaze the pan by adding the white wine at this stage. Time to turn up the heat to full blast and allow the wine to reduce by half. By doing that you are allowing the alcohol to evaporate and in turn concentrating the flavors further. Add the cream, bring to the boil. Once boiling, bring down the heat to a simmer and simmer the ragu for a further 5-6 minutes. Now is the perfect time to add in the fresh thyme.
  5. Once you see that the ragu has reached the thickness compared to that of a Bolognese sauce, check for seasoning. TASTE!!TASTE!!TASTE!! Before adding salt, fold in the parmesan cheese and then adjust the seasoning to your taste. Ragu…DONE!! Get it off the heat.
  6. Either use a homemade pesto* or a store bought jar of pesto works just fine. Fold the pesto into your Ragu and watch the color change from a white to a basil cream green.
  7. In a bowl, add cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, olive oil and place them in a screaming hot oven for 5 mins. Once they blister pull them out.
  8. Blanch the sugar snap peas and sweet green peas in salted water and shock in ice cold water. Drain.

Assembling the dish:

 

  1. Put the pan with the ragu back on the heat. Once heated through, add in the pasta and fold into the sauce thoroughly.  
  2. Once mixed well add in the peas and fold into the pasta.
  3. Pour pasta into a serving dish and garnish with the blistered tomatoes. Freshly grate parmesan over top of the pasta and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy with a great glass of vino bianco and a lot of friends and family!!!

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