Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another Tomato-Basil Soup with Homemade Pasta, This Time With Sausage

It's a funny thing, food. Sometimes, it's subtle and wonderful and makes you happy, and you love it but you don't fully know why you love it, like many a nice classical piece. At other times, it's simple, sublime, and stunning and it makes you happy, and you love it and know exactly why you love it, like fewer nicer classical pieces and like this stuff. At still other times, it's lovely because it's familiar, although nothing more than that is particularly special about it, or more accurately that what is so special about it is lost in blinding familiarity, although it still makes you happy. Then there's times, like when you cook sausages, that it's powerful and moving and not in any way subtle. It's like AC/DC... perfect as it is, but splendid because it's so perfectly up in your face... making you very, very happy. And so it was tonight in my kitchen.
tomato-basil soup with italian sausage and homemade shaved pastaLook at that. Seriously. Italian sausage all up in some tomato-basil soup with homemade pasta. Hells bells. The recipe is nearly identical to the previous tomato-basil soup I did, that one with chicken. The only real differences here would be more peppers and three links of fresh Italian sausage, one hot and two sweet (though if I had my way, it would have been three hot ones... family, you know).

The plan was grander than that. It was going to be spectacular, a feast for the mouths and for the senses. I was going to make rosemary sourdough flatbread to go with this dish (and was tossing around the idea of putting garlic and/or parmesian in it too). Due to the fact that my starter, which smells perfectly lovely again, almost like fruit in fact, seems not to want to leaven a loaf in any reasonable amount of time right now, though, the plan was modified to include the bread with the leftovers... which we already ate because this was so incredibly delicious.

Unfortunately, after two hours in our plenty-warm house, this is what the dough looked like:
Hhhwhat, you say? Two hours? Yeah, it didn't rise more than about 10% (volume increase). Crap. Yeah, that's my fingerprint in the middle.. in its incredibly relaxed, too easy-going to do anything for me state. Thus, I covered the bowl and put it in the fridge. Wherever it gets by about lunchtime tomorrow is where it's going, and then I will have flatbread (even if it's as flat as a tortilla).

The only really sad part about this recipe is the state of our garden. I was out in it today picking the tomatoes for the soup, and I'm pretty sure that this is the last such soup that the garden is going to yield this season. The tomatoes are just pretty much done. I lament that mainly because I really wanted to try it with beef, and once you grow your own tomatoes, the ones at the grocery store just won't do. I might try it with the absolutely superior (among canned tomatoes) Muir Glen Fireroasted ones or the San Marzano ones this fall or winter, but I just don't think it will be the same.

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