Memories of France on a plate. My recipe for a spaghetti in butter, parsley and garlic sauce with duck sausage

Spaghetti in a butter, garlic & parsley sauce with duck sausages


It's not that I don't like to shop while travelling. I love to buy food stuff. Or curios which remind me of restaurants and meals that I ate on the trip. 

I like to carry back taste memories. Some of which I try to recreate in our kitchen at the end of a holiday.

That's the story behind the dinner I cooked at home the other day soon after we returned from our French trip. 

A pasta dish.

'Pasta', you ask. "Isn't that Italian?"

Well you get pasta in various European countries too. I have seen it across Spain and in Prague too apart from in Italy of course. 

Every cafe and Bistro that we went to in France, including the French ones, had at least one pasta dish on the menu. Tagliatelle, spaghetti and linguine seemed most popular and there was the odd penne dish too. I had a mind blowing linguine with clams at the Bobo Bistro in Cannes. As Michel, my chatty cabby from the Nice airport said, "Cannes is close to Italy and there is a fair bit of Italian influence on the food there.""

Michel loves Chinese and Indian food the most followed by Italian.

"I don't like French food," he told me with a smile.


In Paris, I had the classic French dish, escargots or snails. I tried this in a restaurant called A La Pomponnette and loved it. The owners of the restaurant didn't speak much English. However, a friendly French couple sitting across our table did and explained what went behind the dishes we ate. 

I had loved the flavours of the marinade in which the escargot was grilled. Parsley, garlic and butter explained my co-diner. That sounded simple enough and I thought of using the combination in some form  after coming back to Mumbai. A pasta seemed a good answer. Spaghetti, since the sauce would be light and not creamy or cheesy.


It would have made sense to use seafood in memory of the snails that I had the original dish with. However, I had bought sausages from a charcuterie in Nice. Duck, pork and wild boar ones. I decided to use the duck sausage for the pasta.


The dish was pretty quick to put together. K was happy with the way I turned out. So was I.

Unlike K, who avoided the snails in paris, I had eaten the original dish. I knew that the escargot was more buttery and garlicky than my pasta. 

Escargot in Pomponnette.
Check out the butter, garlic & parsley sauce in the shells


I could think of a few reason for this. Perhaps they had used more butter in Pomponette. Perhaps the French butter that they had used was more robust than the Amul butter that I had used. Perhaps the starch in the pasta had neutralised a bit of the sharpness unlike in the snail dish.

Well, one can analyse till the cows come home however I thought that I will share the recipe with you since it turned out well.

Talking of cows, I brought back some lovely cow's milk cheese from the same charcuterie.

The pasta recipe


Ingredients:


Duck sausages. Very intense



1. Spaghetti . You will need 100 g for 2. 

2. 100 g duck sausage.  You could use pepperoni too. Or some prawns or mussels. If vegetarian, some good mushrooms
3. 2 handfuls of fresh parsley, washed properly
4. 6 peeled cloves of garlic
5. 30 g or 1 tablespoon of salted butter. The French would use more but they walk a lot more than us and climb million stairs for the metro in Paris
6. Salt. Table salt or sea salt. 1/2 teaspoon
7. 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Prep:
1. Put the parsley into a mixer grinder and grind it. Add the garlic and grind it. Add the olive oil to moisten the mix making it easy to take it out.
2. Slice the sausages
3. Boiled the spaghetti as per pack instructions and keep about 2 tablespoons of the water in which the pasta is boiled and drain the rest of the water


Cook




  1. Heat the pan
  2. Add the butter
  3. Once it melts, adde the parsley and garlic mix
  4. After 30 seconds, add the sausage and stir
  5. Stir for about 30 seconds and add in the pasta and the pasta water (about 2 tablespoons of water)
  6. Mix in the meat and butter base into the pasta for about a minute. Top with salt and toss for another 30 seconds and you are done
Stat warning: This is a dish that I cooked up and it makes no claim to being an authentic French recipe by any means
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