Recently going to a wonderful little Italian restaurant before a HILARIOUS Amy Schumer comedy show, I ran across a dish with Merguez sausage. North African in descent, this inclusion in the dish just makes me feel more special to have found a new ingredient.
Merguez is a wonderfully spicy, rich and leaves you feeling a little “what was in that, I can’t quite put my finger on it”…Roll with it, I like a good adventure in a pasta dish. Everything else in this dish just helps to complement this wonderful meat. I suggest hitting a nicer grocery store when searching for the sausage, and when in doubt, you could substitute a hot italian link, but spend the travel and effort – merguez is where it’s at.
The ricotta helps to cool it, the tomatoes lend a wonderful juice and mushrooms lend their wonderful umami-meaty-chewiness that I need for texture. Gnocchi could be other pastas, but let’s be honest, the potato dumpling just brings a heft that a spicy sausage requires. Again, trust me here, no substitutes.
Because of the simplicity here, I totally suggest sharing the kitchen, throwing on tunes, and dancing and dating til your hearts content. Married? Date anyway, it should be a rule. This is a pretty beginner dish – saute, toss and serve. Is a Tuesday night date night allowed? Totally, you’re the boss of you.
½ lb. merguez sausage, cut into small pieces
1/2 large sweet yellow onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
2 c cherry tomatoes
¼ – ¾ C chicken broth
1 cup of fresh whole milk ricotta
Place slices of merguez sausage in a frying pan, and fry until some oils have been released into the pan. Remove sausage and set aside.
In the pan, place the onion, garlic and mushrooms, and fry until they have become soft and released more juices to the pan. Then add in cherry tomatoes and allow skins to wrinkle, but do not break with a spoon.
Add the merguez sausage back into pan as well as tossing the gnocchi lightly (you do not want to break them.) If there is not enough juices on the bottom of the pan, add in small amounts of chicken broth just to “wet” everything and bring it together. Heat through.
When serving, add a dollop of ricotta over each dish.