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Jilly goes Italian Stir Fry

March 7, 2012

 One year, a niece who had classes at unusual hours came to stay with me for part of the day to study and kill some time.  I would spoil her with various dishes as she was a poor starving university student. I love Italian dishes and made lasagna one afternoon. She had never actually experienced homemade lasagna and asked, “Auntie, are we Italian?” I said, “No, but today we are!”

This was a moment that is all about what we pass on to our children and our family in the kitchen. I hope she knows that you can be anyone or anything in the kitchen – think of the many influences in our cooking such as Chinese stir-fry, Philippino pansit, ve-d-d-y, ve-d-d-y English Yorkshire pud’ and joint of beef, or tres French Canadian tourtiere. I don’t know what defines Canadian cuisine as we are a product of so many cultures. Some people think of maple syrup, but here in Western Canada, we are far from a maple tree. I just know I enjoy cuisine from many countries and adapt recipes to the ingredients I can find close to home. 

So, on that note you can see where Jilly’s mind has gone today – all over the place. Maybe she is just thinking of the many countries she would like to see, after hearing from some fellow bloggers in many parts of the world.

Hello New Friends, Fellow Bloggers!

Anyway, last night Jilly got a little inventive, combining a stir fry technique with Italian, avoiding what often ends up to be a heavy pasta dish, to come up with this:  

Italian Stir Fry  

The key to a good Italian dish is fresh basil and a full-bodied red wine.

2-3 hot Italian sausage – parboiled, speared with a fork to let out some of the fat, then sliced

2 cups dried pasta of whatever is your favourite. Shells hold the sauce well.

1 small zucchini sliced thick

½ red pepper diced

½ red onion chopped in medium pieces

3 -4 small white mushrooms chopped in quarters

4-6 asparagus heads, chopped medium

3-4 garlic cloves smashed

Any other favourite veggies that stir-fry up nicely

½ can of herbed tomato sauce (freeze the remainder, it will keep well)

2- 3 Tbsp. organic Italian seasoning, such as is available from those nice folks at Organic Planet  http://www.planetorganic.ca

Several leaves of organic fresh Basil, rinsed delicately then cut into strips

1 Tbsp. organic brown sugar. Hint – a sweetener should be added to any tomato-based Italian dish to replenish the flavour of canned tomatos or sauce. If using tomatos fresh from your garden, it won’t be required.

Splash of red wine to add robustness to the flavours

Wine for the cook

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Start with wine for the cook – pour liberally. It is very true – wine tastes so much better in crystal.

Prepare pasta in a large pot with a dash of salt, cook 10 – 12 minutes until al dente.

Parboil the sausages a few minutes and pierce the skin with a fork to allow some of the excess fat to release. Drain on paper towel. Slice into ¼” pieces. Add to garlic and oil in a large frying pan or wok and toss to mix.

Chop all the veggies then add to sausage mix, stirring until mushrooms release their liquid and all veggies have cooked a few minutes. Add tomato sauce and stir all together.

Add seasonings, basil, sugar, red wine and cook just a few minutes longer. Pasta should be done by now. Drain pasta. Add 1 tsp. butter or a dash of olive oil to pasta, then serve with stir fry. Top with parmesan and a side of garlic bread.

Garlic Bread

½ loaf fresh Italian or French style baguette

1/3 c. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1-2  Tbsp. parmesan

2-3 garlic cloves, depending on how garlicky you like your bread

Dry parsley

*Jilly says – the above quantities can vary, depending on your preferences and your palette.

Mix the butter, olive oil, parmesan and garlic cloves together. Spread with a pastry brush over the bread slices. Top with a little parsley. Broil 2-3 minutes till golden and toasty. Serve immediately with pasta.

Continue to enjoy the wine opened for the cook.

Buon appetito!

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From → Recipes

5 Comments
  1. anaslense permalink

    I love italian food!

    • Thanks for dropping by! I’m new to blogging, have yet to get this all figured out, but am finding it is a nice way to meet new people from all over and do something with a pile of recipes.
      I like your photos:)
      Cheers from Canada!
      Colleen
      aka Jilly

      • anaslense permalink

        Thank you Jilly! It’s not that complicated, you will learn fast, and I’m following your blog now! I’ll be waiting for your recipes. Good luck!

  2. How interesting, this sounds great!

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