Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sausage, Feta & Sage Pasties

My grandmother made pasties, a pasta with mashed potato and cheese filling that, as most Grandma's cooking is, a warm memory from my childhood. She made it look easy to make them, as she did everything she cooked. She really did! I wish I'd bothered to write down more of her recipes when she was alive, because I can't duplicate many of them now, even with the Internet as a resource. I got to thinking lately that these pasties can be filled with other things, so I cooked up these-sausage and sage pasties, because I grow sage and love both sausage and sage. The pasta, though, is the recipe I got from Grandma

2 cups flour
2 tsp minced fresh sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs + 1 for brushing pasties
2 T olive oil
Water as needed to make dough workable

1 pound Jimmy Dean or other sage sausage
3/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion

Olive oil
Roughly chopped fresh sage
Pepper, optional

Combine dry ingredients; flour minced sage, salt, and baking powder. Lightly beat 3 eggs. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add eggs and 1 tablespoon olive oil. With your hands, or a fork, combine all ingredients until soft dough forms.

Put dough on flour covered cloth and knead until all ingredients are well blended. Brush with the remaining olive oil, wrap in plastic wrap and let set for 30 minutes. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil to cook pasties in.

While the dough rests, brown 1 pound of sausage, remove from heat, stir in feta cheese and chopped green onions and set aside.

If you have a pasta machine, run pasta through it until it's very thin, 1/8 inch. Otherwise, roll out on flour covered cloth until it's 1/8 inch thick. Using biscuit cutter, cut 3-inch circles. Brush with the remaining beaten egg. Put about 1 tablespoon of the sausage-feta-onion mixture in the center, fold over and press edges with a fork to seal.

Drop pasties into the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes, remove with slotted spoon, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle on roughly chopped sage, add freshly ground pepper to taste if you wish. Eat while hot.

Browning the sausage while the pasta rests saves time. I read online that this makes the gluten relax, but learned by trial that if you skip this step and try to roll out the dough, it springs right back and so, is much harder to shape.

You could probably use any other kind of cheese, I love feta, and it goes so well with these ingredients.

I also use this pasta to make wide egg noodles, which in our family is the only thing you can use in Turkey Noodle soup after Thanksgiving. My brother once used store noodles and nobody would eat it. We sat and stared at it like he was feeding us dog food.

Sage is a great plant. I can still pick it even though it's November and we've had some freezes. The leaves, either fresh or dried, I use in dishes year-round. My cockatiel, Bruno (a female, but we didn't know that until she laid eggs) loves sage, too:

1 comments:

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