Boudin blanc, which means “white pudding,” is the most esteemed of all French sausages. Ours is made with pork, chicken, onions, breadcrumbs, cream, and spices. The sausages are fully cooked but need to be gently browned and warmed through. Kept in your refrigerator, they will last for 5-7 days, but no longer.
Cook the boudin blanc in a mixture of half light olive oil and half butter, or in all clarified butter, if you have it on hand. Use a heavy fry pan or, preferably, a cast iron skillet. First warm the pan to a sizzle, then turn the heat down very low. Add to the pan a thin coating of the oil-butter mixture (or clarified butter, if that’s what you’re using). Cook the sausages for four minutes on each side, turning once. Do not brown them too darkly, as this will make the sausage skin bitter, and you will risk bursting the sausage. Do not cover them, as they will most definitely burst.
Serve the boudin blanc with good Dijon or grain mustard, and, as we like to do, with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut (or failing that, stewed or roasted cabbage).
We like to drink with boudin blanc a cru Beaujolais, such as Morgon or Brouilly, Bourgogne Rouge of character, or a delicious Chinon. Then there’s always Minervois, Anjou and…
Fresh Bronze-Cut Rigatoncini
This rigatoncini is extruded through traditional bronze plates, which leave the pasta with micro-grooves that encourage sauce to cling to the noodle.
Keep refrigerated. Though the pasta is fresh, it can be dried for a few days and then stored in the cupboard. If you’d like to try that, spread the pasta out on a cookie sheet, let it dry out in a dry, cool place until it’s hard, and bag it up and store in a dry, cool spot.
The rigatoncini can be cooked just like any other dry noodle you’ve made before: simply boil 2 gallons of water per pound of pasta you plan to cook, heavily salt it until it tastes like ocean water, then add the pasta. Stir from time to time, and cook until al dente, which depending on the freshness of the pasta can take anywhere from 2-10 minutes.
At this time of year, rigatoncini with peas, mint and pancetta makes a really special and easy springtime dinner.
3-4 pounds fresh shelling peas in pods
1/2 pound pancetta or bacon, thinly sliced and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
Few sprigs of mint, leaves picked and chopped
Few sprigs of parsley, leaves picked and chopped
1 pound fresh rigatoncini
Parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish
Shuck the peas.
Bring 2 gallons of water to a boil and season with salt until it tastes like the ocean.
Gently heat a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the pancetta or bacon. Cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, to render the pancetta a bit and get it golden brown.
When the pancetta is done, remove it from the pan. Retain the rendered fat, reheat the pan, and cook the onion over medium heat in the pork fat until it is soft and caramelized. Add the minced garlic and pancetta back into the pan, then turn off the heat.
Cook the pasta until al dente. When the pasta is about 90 seconds from being done, throw the peas into the pasta water and let them cook.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the pancetta pan over high heat, and add the cream. Let the cream reduce and thicken for a minute, then reduce the heat and add the drained pasta and peas to the pan. Add an ounce or two of the pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce and help coat the pasta.
At the last moment, add the chopped parsley and mint and toss.
Garnish with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese and serve immediately.
Soul Food Farm Chicken Stock
This chicken stock is perfect to use as a base for soups, sauces and braises. It also makes for fantastic risotto and paella.
Use fresh within 5 days or freeze for up to a month.