Sausagey Pasta & Ebony Vale Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ve got another meal to share with you.  This one I found when looking for a carb loaded pre-run long run meal After weeks of eating the same thing on a Saturday night, I’m now trying to mix it up and keep things exciting.  That’s how I came across this Sausagey Pasta from The Slimming Foodie.  The idea of sausages in a pasta dish sounded like carb loaded heaven, as one of my favourite meals since childhood dinner is sausage, chips & beans.

With my pasta chosen, the next decision was what drink should to pair with it? For a tomato based pasta dish with red meat, a red wine sounded great, but which one? After a few moments of deliberation, I settled on the Ebony Vale Cabernet Sauvignon alcohol free red wine

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Recipe: Sausagey Pasta

Last time I cooked a pasta dish for these blogs, I moved away from my preferred tomato-based sauces with the creamy asparagus pasta.  This time I stayed in my comfort zone and reached for the tomatoes. However, I still wanted the meal to feel unique and excite me when I was cooking. I was looking for something that was packed with flavour (and pasta) as a great pre-run long run carb loader. After looking at a number of recipes I stumbled across the Sausagey Pasta and I knew I had the one.

There was nothing in the recipe that looked particularly difficult to put me off trying this.  In fact, it sounded very easy to make. Add in that it was inspired by Jamie Oliver recipe (and he knows a thing or two about flavour) and I was soon reaching for the saucepans.

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Preparation: Super Fast

Preparing this meal was super easy and its secret weapon is the food processor. As my food processor was stuffed at the back of a very packed cupboard, I was very tempted to be lazy and quickly chop the veg and mix by hand. I’m very glad I didn’t make that mistake.

With the food processor rescued from the cupboard, all I needed to do was roughly chop up the vegetables in advance throw them in and blitz it. Sausages were added with the help of some kitchen scissors, along with the herbs.  One last blitz to give a smooth consistency and I was done.

I really couldn’t ask for an easier recipe. 

Even cooking was super easy and fast.  I threw the pasta on and while that was cooking, the sausage mix went in a pan and given an occasional stir. Once everything has been cooked through, I added the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and garlic then left it simmering for a few minutes. When the pasta was ready, I drained the water (keeping a little bit aside) and mixed into the tomato sauce.  Some of the drained water was added to the sauce until I was happy with the consistency and then it was ready.

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Meal: Pasta Heaven

With the meal served and cheese grated, it was time to tuck in. And tuck in we did. The Sausagey Pasta was met with a resounding approval and got a big thumbs up from everyone.

With the amount of flavour packed into each mouthful, it really was no surprise in its popularity.  The mix of hers and vegetable was just right so the no one flavour overpowered the rest.  Instead, all the ingredients worked together to give a little something to a collective taste sensation.

The Sausagey Pasta also earned a first for these recipe blogs – it’s was the first where every plate in the house was cleared.  Normally, my kids will leave a vegetable or tow on their plates, but not this time.  In fact, it was so popular, they asked for a second helping!

Dishing up seconds wasn’t a problem as the recipe produced an absolute mountain of delicious pasta.  Even after serving the kids another helping, there was enough to save and enjoy cold the next day.  Two days of great meals from one super quick recipe – that’s a big win!

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Alcohol-Free Drink: Ebony Vale Cabernet Sauvignon

It still feels funny reaching for a glass of wine the night before a long run.  I drink plenty of alcohol-free beer so the association between alcohol and beer has long since been broken, but wine is different.  As I drink wine less often, I still have a sub-conscious association between alcohol and wine.  Consequently, reaching for a glass of wine the night before a long feels strange as I’d never drink alcohol pre-run due to its dehydrating effect.

Taking a moment to remind myself that the Ebony Vale Cabernet Sauvignon only contains 0.05% alcohol (or less than you find in fruit juice)  I reach for the glass and take in the aroma.  There’s an initial scent of aged oak that will convince even the strongest sceptic that this is no grape juice.  Hidden under the oak is a subtle trace of red berries that add a certain something that makes worth taking a moment to swirl it around the glass and enjoy the moment.

Those complexities are followed through into the flavour.  There’s an initial sharpness from the aged wood that sits on your tongue, before the red berries and plums start to come through.  There’s a richness to the flavours that ensures you take a moment to appreciate them before they fade into the aftertaste.

Unlike many alcohol-free wines, it’s not a sweet wine.  They clearly haven’t used a lot of sugar to try and give the mouthfeel of an alcoholic wine.  There’s a good body to the wine and the aged wood flavours leave a lasting, pleasant aftertaste. 

It works wonderfully with the pasta dish and is a great accompaniment.

Buy Your Alcohol-Free Wine

Whether you’re looking to try the Sausagey Pasta with this perfectly paired wine, or just looking for a great alcohol-free wine, Wise Bartender have got a great selection for you.  You can try the Ebony Vale, a different alcohol-free red wine, or maybe a mix of different reds:

Just click on the links and use the code GOODSTUFF to get 5% off at Wise Bartender.

Lessons Learned 

For once, everything in this recipe went perfectly. The recipe was so simple that it really would be impossible to go wrong. That said, I did almost make a poor decision as I was preparing the meal that would have ruined everything. 

I originally thought that I could just chop up the vegetables small enough and mix everything up in the bowl, but this really wouldn’t have worked. There’s no way I would have been able to chop vegetables small enough for the mixture to combine properly. Instead of the fantastic getting the small amounts of well flavoured sausage meat sprinkled through the pasta, I would have ended up with individual chunks of meat and veg.  Whilst I’m sure it would have been ok, I doubt it would have been as enjoyable as this meal.

In other words, if you have a food processor, use it!

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Final Thoughts

As I’ve tried different meals over the last few weeks, I’ve found some really good recipes and enjoyed some meals that I probably wouldn’t have made if it wasn’t for this blog series. I’ve often tried something completely new I’ve been pleased with the result. However, I’m really pleased but I played it safe with this one and looked for tomato-based pasta dish. This really was superb.

Everything about this recipe was super quick and easy, Even down to the fact that you could roughly chop the veg or use scissors on the sausages before throwing them into the food processor.  Prep time was only a few minutes and the cook time was limited or how long it took the pasta to cook. It couldn’t get easier or faster.

Even better, the final meal was absolutely superb and having a fantastic alcohol-free red wine to go with it really topped it off. With all the flavours packed into the pasta, it was nice to enjoy wine with equally complex flavours that I could take a moment to stop and enjoy.  It has a slightly lighter body then some traditional alcoholic red wines, but with this meal that works to its advantage. It adds a lightness that wonderfully offsets the heaviness that a large bowl of pasta inevitably contains.

Would I make this again? Most definitely. And when I do, there’s no doubt I’ll be reaching for another bottle Ebony Vale Cabernet Sauvignon.

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