Recipe Revisited

pasta1.jpg

After first cooking my shrimp, italian sausage and chicken fettuccini with tomatoes and whitw wine, I had been jonesing for the chance to try it again. Although more work goes into the prep than into the actual cooking, the layers of flavors are more than worth it. Although Jay and I had tentitively planned to cook it about three weekends in a row (the same thing seems to happen with movies we want to see), we never really had the opportunity to cook.

Once again, however, my mom’s injury provided me with another opportunity to cook, and I’m beginning to think that I will substantially grow as a cook during her recovery period. So the last night of my dad’s absence, with my sister in town, I decided it would be a perfect time to prepare a good and filling meal.

I won’t give the recipe again because it’s still so nebulous, but it can be found here. As I noted in the original post, I intended to make some changes the next time I cooked. Some of the changes were intentional, whereas some were the result of a shortage in ingredients, but I have listen them below. Overall, I was impressed with the finished result, but I think the shortage in white balsamic vinegar caused the depth of flavor to be … how should I say it …. more shallow? less pronounced? The change to spicy italian sausage definitely made the dish as a whole more spicey, but not too much. I was thankful for the addition of the extra chicken, but I think it reduced the “sauce-y” quality of the dish as a whole. Next time, I might put in more tomatoes and maybe a bit of tomato paste to thicken things up a bit. Due to the increase in meat, I might also add more clam juice and white wine.

Speaking of clams, I bought some clams to incorporate into the dish, adding them at the end, but the sauce mixture itself never got warm enough, so Jay and I ended up boiling them in water. They were pretty tasteless and not really worth the effort, so if I add them again I’ll have to change my cooking methods. We bought the clams because we didn’t have as much shrimp this time around, but I think the shrimp work better anyway.

sauce1.jpg

Changes:

  • Chicken: used three chicken breasts this time; definitely liked the addition
  • Shrimp: only used about 2 poounds; the extra chicken helped the deficiency, but I would have liked to have seen more shrimp
  • Italian sausage: used a full pound of hot Italian sausage; while I liked the extra heat, I think next time I will split Italian sausage equally between hot and sweet sausagesimmer.jpgb
  • Tomatoes: used 1 28 ounce can of the tomatoes and a fresh whole tomato, diced; the addition of the fresh chunks of tomator was very nice and very welcome; if I use the same amount of meat next time as I did this time, I will probably put in more canned tomatoes, and probably a tablespoon or so of tomato paste
  • White balsamic vinegar: although I wanted to use more than in the original recipe, I ended up using less this time because I ran out; a crucial part of the recipe that I noticed was missing; if I run out again I’ll just try normal balsamic, but the white has such a great flavor that I think regular would mess it up
  • Clams: added them at the end to simmer but the sauce didn’t get hot enough to cook them completely, so had to cook them separately; too much trouble, but would like to incorporate them eventually, maybe at the beginning of the cooking process rather than at the end clams1.jpgb
  • Basil: used about a half a cup more; good change

More pasta pics (they all looked so good!):

pasta3.jpg

pasta4.jpg

pasta5.jpg

pasta6.jpg

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