A recipe! I haven’t had one of those on here for a while! This curiosity comes from Sweden – after my return from Stockholm, I was reading about their cuisine in general when I came across korv stroganoff. Now I’m familiar with the beef in a creamy sauce Stroganoff but when I heard that the most popular variant in Sweden involved sausages and ketchup, well, I was all over it. As you’d expect, it’s a favourite meal of many Swedish children.

I didn’t have any falukorv, the baloney-like sausage typically used in korv stroganoff, and substituted an equally as processed sausage that can be found in Ikea at certain times of the year: prinskorv. The recipe was very simple to put together and provided you’ve got some white rice cooked, you’ll have your meal on your table in 15 minutes. Of course, it’s very mild (a little chilli powder wouldn’t be amiss) but it is certainly comforting. It’s also very rich and I’d certainly ensure you had a big ol’ salad and some pickles to have on the side!

Korv Stroganoff

Korv Stroganoff
Serves 2

200g prinskorv or falukorv
1 medium onion
1 tbsp olive oil
200 ml passata or canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp ketchup
150 ml single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the sausage(s) into strips. Slice the onion likewise. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and then the onion, cooking then until they’re soft and translucent. Add the sausage strips and continue frying until they’re heated through and maybe even a little brown on the edges.

Add the passata and ketchup and stir through, letting it all bubble gently together for a couple of minutes. Stir through the cream and again, continue cooking. After a couple more minutes, season to taste and then serve hot on white rice. You’re going to want a big fresh green salad alongside!

Oh, how I wish I could title this post Kielbasa and Kabbage! We’ve had a Mleckzo Polish delicatessen open up in Croydon recently and I am in awe at the selection of kielbasa (Polish sausage) that is available – there must be at least 50 different kinds in their refrigerated display cabinet! They’re all different colours too – some more reddish, others darker and possibly smoked. Some are pork only, others are beef, still others are pork and beef or turkey. Anyway, I have no real idea how to use all of them but I do know that a lot of them will work well cooked with cabbage.

I don’t claim that this is a particularly Polish recipe – I just put it together based on what I had to use up in the house. And it tasted great! I love the combination of the strong sausage with the cabbage – I love cabbage in stews. I’ve tried this now with a couple different types of cabbage and a few different kielbasas from the display. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the different types as they are all labelled in Polish, which I don’t read! Ah well.

Kielbasa and Cabbage

Kielbasa and Cabbage
serves 2

1 length of Kielbasa – about 25cm
1 small cabbage – green or Savoy
1 large onion
olive oil
200 ml cider
1 tsp caraway seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut up your onion and soften it over medium heat in a little olive oil in a large saute pan. Slice the kielbasa into bite sized slices and when the onion is soft, add them into the pan with the caraway seeds. When they have browned a little, pour in the cider and let it all bubble.

Get your cabbage cut up into bite sized pieces, leaving the core. Add them to the pan, stirring through and adding a little more water if it’s looking dry. Cover and reduce the heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is cooked to your liking. Season to taste.

Serve hot with a little bread on the side – rye is a good choice.

I felt like I lost my cooking mojo a couple weeks back (caused in part by the summer weather and also my being ridiculously busy at work and I’m tired when I get home) but after forcing myself into the kitchen recently, I do feel like it’s back and now I’ve got a few recipes ready for the blog. Reading other blogs helped too and one recipe that helped get me out of my funk was this creamy carrot pasta that Donny cooked on his blog Eat to Blog. A creamy pasta dish isn’t necessarily what one might make in the summer but the weather lately hasn’t been exactly summery, eh?

This recipe made a feature of carrot, a vegetable that I have no particularly strong feelings for and one I’d never thought of combining into a pasta dish – but the idea of combining it with cream sounded fantastic. I couldn’t help playing around a bit with the recipe and used a leek instead of the onion and crumbled the sausage into the sauce too. The result was very tasty with the sweetness of the leeks and carrots and cream playing nicely with the savoury sausage and the greenness of the parsley. And it’s very quick to put together for a weekday dinner.

Creamy Carrot, Leek and Sausage Pasta

Carrot, Leek and Sausage Pasta
adapted from Donny’s recipe on Eat to Blog.
serves 2.

250g pasta
1 medium-large carrot, thinly sliced
1 large leek, thinly sliced
3 sausages, chopped roughly
50 mL double cream
2 tbsps olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

Set a large pot of water to boil.

Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add about 2 tbsps of oil when hot. Throw in the chopped sausage and let the pieces brown well. When cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage and set it aside.

Pour in a little more oil if the pan is looking dry. Add the leeks and saute for about three minutes. Toss in the carrots and continue cooking until they soften. If the vegetables start to stick, add a little water and scrape up the goodness stuck to the pan.

When the water is boiling, salt well and add your pasta (we used fusilli). Cook until al dente.

Return the sausage to the pan and then add the double cream. Stir through and let bubble together for a few minutes. Thin with water if desired and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add in the cooked and drained pasta and the chopped parsley and stir well to combine. Add some of the pasta water if it’s looking too dry and if it’s difficult to stir. Serve.

I’m submitting this post to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Amy of Very Culinary.

It was this photo from Last Night’s Dinner that led me to create this recipe for a Cajun spiced sausage and broccoli pasta – the creamy bowl of carbs was just calling out to me! The original dish (going by the spiffy name of Pasta St. Charles!) from the Palace Cafe in New Orleans contained shrimp as well but as I didn’t have any at hand, it would just have to be sausage. As I was also too lazy to make a vegetable side dish (and the thought of a salad that day didn’t appeal), I opted to add some broccoli directly to the pasta dish.

Cajun Spiced Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

The final result was a total winner in our household and will definitely be repeated! Of course, I have no idea how it compares to the original dish but it tastes how I expect the pasta in the photo to taste so I’m happy! I’m so used to defaulting to a tomato based sauce that this makes a nice change and I’ll continue play around with no tomatoes in my pasta. Again, this is a pasta dish that keeps well – we had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

A note: The Cajun spice blend I used had no added salt. If yours does (I checked my supermarket and the usual brand that’s around has salt as its first ingredient), you might want to reduce this amount and/or play around with the ratio of spice to salt added at the end.

Cajun Spiced Sausage and Broccoli Pasta
serves 2 with leftovers

250g shell pasta
a small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
small knob of butter and a splash of sunflower oil
3 large fresh pork sausages, peeled
2 cloves garlic, minced
a large pinch of dried chili flakes
2 tsps Cajun spice
75 mL double cream
2 tsps Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a pot of water on to boil.

In the meantime, heat a large saute pan over medium heat and heat the sunflower oil and melt down the butter. Brown the sausage meat, breaking it up as it fries. When brown, toss in the garlic, stirring thoroughly and letting it cook. Add the dried chili flakes and Cajun spice and stir and again, let it fry for a minute or two. If there are lots of lovely brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, deglaze it with a bit of water.

That water should be boiling now. Toss in your broccoli florets and boil until tender but still with a bite. Drain and set aside. Reboil that water, adding more if needed. Salt the water and then throw in the pasta to boil.

Back to the sauce. Add the heavy cream and mustard and stir through. You’ll most likely need to thin it all a bit with some water. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper. Stir through the broccoli and the pasta when it’s al dente and drained.

Serve with some sliced spring onions and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over. Some grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano or Grana Padano would also go well on top.

I’m submitting this post to Presto Pasta Nights, this week hosted by Once Upon a Feast.

Can you tell I’ve been cooking more recently? Due to a number of factors, we just haven’t been going out as often in the last month and that’s meant more action in the kitchen. With the exception of last week (dang, that was a lot of Chinese takeaways!), I’ve been cooking more on weekdays too. And here’s a recipe that turns up quite often.

I’d say that when I buy cavolo nero at the farmers’ market, chances are I’ll use it for this spaghetti dish (as evinced by these other photos!). The combination of savoury sausage and greenery and tomatoiness is mighty tasty and it’s quick to put together for a weekday dinner. Leftovers also keep very well and make a fine packed lunch the next day.

Spaghetti with Sausage and Cavolo Nero 3

So look out for some cavolo nero at your local farmers’ market! Kale is also good here but it is more bitter than cavolo nero – it also takes longer to cook so you might want to blanch it before adding it to the sauce.

Spaghetti with Sausage and Cavolo Nero
serves 2

200g spaghetti (we used spaghettini)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 sausages, peeled and chopped roughly
chili flakes
splash of dry sherry or white wine (optional)
200g cherry tomatoes or 3 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
2 tbsps tomato paste
1 small bunch cavolo nero, washed, trimmed and chopped roughly
olive oil (regular for cooking and extra virgin for finishing)
salt and pepper to taste

In a saute pan, heat about 2 tbsps olive oil over medium heat. Fry the onion until it’s gone soft and translucent. Add chili flakes and the chopped sausage meat, breaking up the meat as you’re frying it. When the meat is cooked, add the sherry/wine and let the liquid cook off. Add the chopped fresh tomatoes and the tomato paste and let the tomatoes cook down. Add a little water if it’s looking too dry but the fresh tomatoes should exude quite a lot.

In the meantime, bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt, and boil your spaghetti in the salted water.

When the tomato has cooked down (add sugar if needed), add the chopped cavolo nero to the saute pan and add a bit of water if the tomato mixture is too dry. Stir through and slap a lid on the pan. Cook until the cavolo nero is cooked to your liking – you might need to give it a stir here and there. Salt to taste and add a good grinding of fresh black pepper.

Drain your spaghetti when al dente and stir through the sauce, finishing with a final healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Update: I’m submitting this post to Presto Pasta Nights being hosted this week by Ben at What’s cooking?.