Meat Lovers, Pasta, Quick & Simple
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Pasta with Lamb Merguez and Porcini Mushrooms

Sometimes you just crave something comforting. Comforting as I know it, usually means pasta. With 30 minutes, there is plenty of time to make this tasty dinner recipe, which takes about 3% effort! Lamb merguez and porcini mushrooms pair beautifully together. With porcini mushrooms earthy and somewhat nutty flavor and merguez signature spice, this dish boasts simplicity and full flavor.

Merguez, is a North African lamb sausage. It’s spicy and delicious, with wonderful lamb flavor. Popular in Europe, especially in France, it pairs well with Mediterranean flavors, as well as traditional North African dishes. In France, it’s a classic at any backyard barbecue. That’s where I first discovered it while visiting a fellow Canadian friend who lived in the south of France and Paris for a number of years. Wow. Delicious.

Don’t expect mild with this sausage, it’s gutsy and a little in your face (without being rude, of course) as it’s generously seasoned with paprika, a delicious blend of other seasonings such as cumin, chili pepper or harissa, as well as other spices such as sumac, fennel, and garlic, and sometimes coriander.

Kind in mind, sometimes this sausage is made from a mix of beef, or contain pork fat or pork casings, so be sure to ask your butcher when you buy merguez — if don’t eat pork — you’ll want to make sure the merguez is only made from lamb.

PASTA WITH LAMB MERGUEZ AND PORCINI MUSHROOMS
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:
200 g fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
400 g maccheroni or pasta of your choice
4-6 organic lamb merguez sausages (size ranges from 8-15 cm. I used 4 large sausages for this recipe), removed from the casing, and coarsely chopped
2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine (120 ml)
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
freshly grated parmesan

METHOD:
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate.

2. Cook pasta according to package instructions, in a large pot of salted boiling water, until al dente.

3. Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil, merguez and onions to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and lightly browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Add white wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 more minutes. Return the mushrooms to the skillet, and cook for 1 minute, until heated.

4. Drain pasta and add to sauce; stir to coat. Toss in parsley and transfer to serving bowls. Top with parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper, serve immediately and enjoy!

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