Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta & Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Today I want to introduce yet another simple pasta dish to you all, something that I made frequently when I was in California. The ingredients can be found at your local grocer and it can be whipped up in no time. The key ingredient is the sweet Italian sausages. These link sausages aren't the usual hot dogs that we buy from the frozen section. They are actually season meats put into fat casings which can be grilled or in pasta dishes. Of course you can opt for spicy or even cheese filled sausages, but I like the sweet ones. :) They can be easily found in Cold Storage at the cold cut section. I actually got mine at this nice grocer in Dempsey Hill Singapore call Jones The Grocer. Jones has a wide premium selection of meats, cheeses and dry goods, this place is a little gem that I was surprise to find there while dinning at Dempsey Hill the other night. Do check them out if you pass by that place.
Don't be mistaken when I say sweet sausages, it's not exactly like candy sweet. It's merely a little sweeter then your usual sausages. :D But feel free to replace it with any kind of ground meat of your choice, but seasoned with some Italian herbs, salt, pepper, garlic and perhaps some sugar.
Check out how I did it:

Ingredients for Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta:
3 to 4 Sweet Italian Sausage links
4 strips smoked bacon, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
, sliced into small strips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/8 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 box/pack of dried pasta

Method:

  • In a hot skillet pan, add the sliced bacon and cooked at medium low heat till the oil of the fat has been rendered out. Continue to cook the bacon till it's crisp and brown.
  • Add garlic and stir till fragrant. Add the sweet sausages by squeezing the meat out from their casing. Brown the meat evenly and break them up into smaller chunks.
  • Now add in the sun-dried tomatoes and frozen peas and stir well.
  • Continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes then add in the heavy cream and chicken stock. Add in dried thyme and seasoning as desired. Let it simmer for a minute or 2 and it is done.
  • Boil the pasta in a pot of boiling water according to what the packaging suggest and drain when al dente. Serve the meat sauce over the pasta and give it a light toss.
There you go, this is a very simple and yet delicious meal you can serve your love ones anytime of the day. I love the hearty, meaty sauce, something different from the usual Bolognese sauce. Do try it out and let me know how you like this pasta dish. ;)
Next up is a simple coffee cake that I made for my parents when I went to visit them a couple weeks back. Finally got a chance to post this delicious recipe up to share with you all, hope you will like it. :) It's call Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. This is again extracted from "A Passion for Baking" by Marcy Goldman. Okay, I love that book, that is why you are seeing several recipes from it lately from me. ;P
I would consider this cake a simpler version of the Baked Strawberry cheesecake that I made earlier.

Ingredients for Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp sugar

2 large eggs

1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 & 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Filling:
10 to 12 large strawberries, cut half
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract (I omitted)

1/4 tsp lemon extract (I omitted)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 and grease a 9" round spring-form pan (I used heart-shaped) or a fluted, deep tart pan, then line with parchment paper.
  • For the cake, in a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and blend well.
  • Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt to make a soft batter. Spread the batter on the bottom and sides of the pan. (Batter will appear thin in the pan)
  • For the filling: Mix the cream cheese and the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well. Spread it over the cake base. Then place the strawberries, cut side down, pressing slightly into the cream cheese batter.
  • Bake in the oven until the top is brown and appear set, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Cool well before slicing, enjoy!
My bad, I left the cake in the oven a wee bit longer (just 5 more minutes) and the sides were all charred. It's my paranoia side worrying that the middle is all wobbly and uncooked...*sigh*.
Minus off the crusty outside, the inside was still nice and delicious...*phew*. :P When my mum tasted it, she (always been so supportive) commented that she likes the "chao-tar" (charred) sides, lol! Nevertheless the creamy and slight tangy inside was really nice. :) You can try this out using any summer fruits of your choice. Anyway, hope you all will try out this 2 new recipes that I share with you today. So simply said, a gourmet meal is never far away, treat yourself and make something yummy today! Happy cooking! ;)

13 comments:

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Hi Bee Bee, the pasta looks delicious, my daughter prefer such "dry" pasta over those cover with sauce. The cake looks so gd as well, oh Bee Bee you have so many recipes that I wanna try.... how I wish I ve more time and most importantly, high metabolism that wont grow fat even input alot :P.

wendyywy @ Table for 2 or more..... said...

The pasta looks so yummy.
I've never seen these sausages and the nearest Cold Storage has closed its doors.
If I ever see these, I'll definately try them out.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks for your constant support Jess. ;D Glad that my recipes inspire you...hope you enjoy them too! Happy baking!

Wendy, you can try any gourmet meat store, they should carry such sausages. Hope you can find them...and let me know when you try it out. ;)

Kitchen Corner said...

Hey Bee, your pasta makes me feel very hungry! Looks very appetizing one! And, your coffee cake looks lovely! May be I should get a love shape pan as well :P

ReeseKitchen said...

Hey I want a piece of the Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake!!! You know how I love coffee and cheese..hee hee! This cake is definetely in my to-do-list! Thanks for the recipe..:)

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

*LOL* Agree with Jess ... My metabolism is less efficient when compared to those who won't grow fat no matter how much and what they eat. I "prosper" VERY easily ... Haha!

Obviously, you like the book a lot. Seems to me the recipes are all measured rather than weighed!? I may give it a second thought before purchasing. But, I already went broke again after purchasing Lebovitz's ice cream book last Saturday. Haha! Time to stop for a lil'.

Oh, I saw sun-dried tomatoes at Cold Storage that same day too! So gonna buy some to try ... Thanks for pushing me further into doing that with your delish-looking pasta! I'm a pasta junkie.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Grace! Just come over my place next time and I'll cook a plate of this pasta for you. :) You should get a heart shape pan! It can be used for several occasion...or anytime you like it. ;)

Dear Reese! Actually this cake contains no coffee in it. :D It's just gets this name because it is usually served during coffee break, so thus coffee cake. :) But do try it out....I bet it'll go well with your coffee for sure! ;)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Pei-lin,
You know those American cook books are mainly using ounces and cups measurement rather then grams. I try to leave it as what the original recipe calls for, so as follow as accurate as possible. :P If you want to get sundried tomatoes, remember to get those soaked in olive oil...they are "juicer" and the olive oil can be use for cooking! ;D

Happy Homebaker said...

I like your strawberry cream cheese cake! It looks so soft! I tried baking a new-york style cheesecake once, but it cracked and since then I have stopped trying to bake a cheesecake. I am happy just looking at yours :)

Anncoo said...

Ooh...I love that pasta! Looks so delicious and my boys sure ask for 2nd serving if I cook this. Your cheese cake sounds so flavorful ;D

Angie's Recipes said...

The pasta looks super delicious! So is your strawberry cheese cake.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks HHB. :) Really? But cheesecake is so sinfully good! So don't give up, do try to bake it again and you'll love it. ;) Perhaps try baking with a water bath next time, it might help prevent the crack? Good luck! ;)

Thanks Anncoo! Heehee, my girls love pasta too. That is why I am always thinking of any good pasta recipes to try out. Try this out, kids love it. ;)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Angie. ;)