Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What's for supper? Kitchener Special

By request, here is the recipe for a sausage-noodle dish which appeared in Whole Foods for the Whole Family (a La Leche League cookbook) and which was contributed by Linda Mellway. (Note on Whole Foods for The Whole Family: the copyright date is 1981...does that seem like 25 years ago? Sigh.) If you wonder about the name of the dish, Kitchener (Ontario) is a city in an area settled largely by Germans...Oktoberfest territory.
The recipe calls for "pork sausage", which can mean a lot of things. We make it with smoked sausage, which you can buy at a butcher's and which doesn't give off much grease...it's not the same as kielbasa, although that would probably work too. If you can't get smoked sausage, you could try it with whatever good sausage you have...not those greasy little breakfast things, though.

Kitchener Special

1 lb. pork sausage (we used two smoked sausages)
1/2 cup (1 small) chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery (I was more generous with this)
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. celery seeds (optional but good)
2 to 3 handfuls raw noodles (we like the extra broad frilly kind in this; finer ones would change the dish somewhat but would still be all right; and you could use macaroni or linguini, or maybe broken lasagna noodles, if you didn't have egg noodles)
4 cups tomatoes, quartered (in the winter you can use canned diced tomatoes, and the amount depends on how much you like tomatoes)
1/2 cup of water, or more depending on the tomatoes--enough to cook the noodles
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese, plus a bit extra for serving if you like

Cut sausage into 1-inch lengths. Brown in a large pot or skillet (large enough to hold the vegetables and the noodles as they expand). Add onion, celery and seasonings...cook a few minutes. Mix well and add remaining ingredients. (You can start grating the cheese now and add it partway through if you want.) Simmer for half an hour, OR turn it all into a casserole and bake for half an hour at 350 degrees, or until the noodles are done but not mushy. (I like to do it on top of the stove so that I can check it and stir it a few times. You have to keep an eye on the noodles and add a bit more liquid if needed.) Pass hot sauce for anyone who likes a bit more zip.

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