One of my favorite things about winter is getting to see more of my farmer friends (and farmer husband). As the fields are put to bed for the winter, there is more time to plan for the future, see friends and family, and create delicious meals. This week, I invited Kim Nolan, a grower at Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton (and the gal in the photo below), for an impromptu weeknight dinner (an invitation that would have been too much to ask during the crush of the growing season).
Kim came over with a special treat: Italian sausage made from Green Meadow’s own pasture-raised pork. It seemed like the perfect occasion to use the last jar of tomatoes from the small stash I was able to put away last September. With Kim’s Italian instinct for sauce, we were able to throw together a quick and tasty Bolognese that oozed hints of Summer flavor.
If you’re reading Eat Boutique, then I’m sure you’ve made a sauce like this before. It’s a favorite weeknight standby for me, as it was for my Mom when I was a just a little girl. It’s a versatile recipe that lends itself to whatever ingredients are in season.
Places in/north of Boston to purchase locally-raised pork sausage:
- Green Meadows Farm. 656 Asbury Street, South Hamilton, MA. 978-468-2277. Pasture-raised pork, lamb, chicken and turkey distributed through a CSA, and at the farmstand. Call ahead to check retail availability or to get on the CSA waiting list.
- Tendercrop Farm. 108 High Road, Newbury MA. 978-462-6972. Large selection of their own meats (as well as a few cuts that they buy in, so ask the knowledgeable folks behind the counter for clarification). Full service butcher.
- My absolute favorite place to go to pick up an artisan-crafted sausage made with locally made meats was Lionette’s Market at 577 Tremont Street in Boston. However (gasp), I just found out that Jamie Lionette sold the shop to Don Otto and his family, who will continue to sell naturally-raised meat and poultry. Once I can stomach the idea of going into the shop and not seeing Jamie’s smiling face behind the counter, I’ll have to go in and check it out. I’ll keep you posted!
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb hot Italian pork sausage (see below for places to buy locally-raised pork)
- 2 quarts whole peeled tomatoes
- ½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- ¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 lb whole wheat spaghettini (Bionaturae is my favorite)
- Your favorite grating cheese
- Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Crumble the pork sausage into the onion mixture and stir frequently until nearly cooked through.
- Add tomatoes, and roasted red peppers. I like to crush the tomatoes a bit (with my hands — I grew up cooking in a highly tactile kitchen where hands were much more frequently used than kitchen utensils) as I add them to the pot.
- Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer until most liquid is gone. Toss in parsley at the last minute.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghettini according to package directions. You know what to do next: top pasta with sauce and cheese (lots of cheese if you’re like me) and enjoy!
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