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Pork and Fennel Sausage Pasta and Chocolate Fudge Cakes with Coffee Syrup – Cooking Class 13

Trying new dishes is one of the best parts with our family cooking classes. I don’t think either of these recipes would have been at the very top of my list of dishes to make. Although after trying them I feel like making it again – and I will. (It’s been quite a while since this class – so I’m definitely craving the pasta right now…)

There wasn’t much hassle with either of these meals and both resulted in a great taste. I have been wondering if there is another way to get the same flavours, without having to buy so many pork and fennel sausages (as this gets a bit expensive if cooking for a large number of people).

BTW – I’ve been very busy intently reading through the Twilight series. I’ve just started “eclipse” (the 3rd) and am enjoying them thoroughly. If you’ve read them – did you enjoy them? (obviously without giving away any info 🙂 )

Pasta with Pork and Fennel Sausages

Serves: 4

6 Italian pork and fennel sausages (about 550g/1 lb 4 oz)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp chilli flakes
300g (10 ½ oz) field or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
800g (1lb 12 oz) tinned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
500g (1lb 2 oz) penne rigate
grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Split the sausages open, remove and crumble the filling and discard the skins.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant and transparent. Add the garlic, chilli flakes, mushrooms and crumbled sausage meat. Cook over high heat, stirring gently to mash the sausage meat, for 4-5 minutes, or until the meat is evenly browned. If necessary, use a tablespoon to remove any excess fat from the pan, leaving about a tablespoon of oil. Continue to cook, stirring once or twice, for 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato and thyme, then bring the sauce to the boil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the penne rigate in a large saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well, then add to the sauce, stirring to combine. Serve with parmesan.

Chocolate Fudge Cakes with Coffee Syrup

Makes: 12

½ cup of cocoa powder
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup boiling water
85g dark cooking chocolate, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
¼ cup almond meal
1/3 cup wholemeal plain flour (we used plain flour)
4 egg whites

Pre-heat oven to 170°C, lightly grease 12-hole muffin pan (use 1/3 cup muffin pan).

Combine sugar and sifted cocoa, blend in water, then chocolate, and stir until smooth. Stir in egg yolks, almond meal, and flour.

Beat egg-whites until soft peaks form.

Fold into chocolate mixture in 2 batches. Divide mixture among pan-holes. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Make syrup.

Stand cakes in pan for 5 minutes before serving with coffee syrup.

Coffee Syrup:
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup water
1 tbsp coffee powder

Stir sugar and water in small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered without stirring for 15 minutes or until syrup thickens. Stir in coffee, strain into small heat-proof jug and serve.