02.19.11: dinner and a movie (or “weeds” and sausage with Weeds)

"Weeds" and Sausage (or, Pericatelli and Sausage Ragu)

Lately, I’ve found myself becoming more and more enraptured by movies that I had in quite some while: I credit this to watching a lot of foreign films lately (particularly those by Almodóvar and Fellini) and the availability of seeing virtually any film I want in one of the many theaters in New York. The AMC in Lincoln Square is our favorite theater, but sometimes we will go to the AMC Empire in Times Square if only for the novelty of riding the down escalator through an Applebee’s and a Dave and Buster’s as we try to make our way out of the building. It’s not quite the obsession I had with film when I was fifteen, but it’s nice to come back to it in a small way, and I am constantly on the search for recommendations for new foreign films to check out and/or purchase.

"Weeds" and Sausage (or, Pericatelli and Sausage Ragu)

In the interim, our primary entertainment has been quality television (and yes, some crappy reality shows), along the lines of everything from 3o Rock to Parks and Recreation to The Office to Mad Men to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia to Weeds. I’ve hinted at my love of the latter show before, but as it’s gone from a very sharp and very funny comedy of manners about the horrors of suburban living to a weird quasi-documentary about drug trafficking in Mexico (seriously, this story reminded me of Weeds first and foremost) I’ve loved it all the same. Regardless of how this reflects on me as a person, I can relate Nancy’s progression as a character; she finally admits that her normal reality sucked hardcore, only to pick up and move to a new place because she’s a danger junkie, culminating into a coupling that is both sexy and dangerous and ultimately toxic…only to pick up to a new place when shit gets very real (sorry for the mild spoiler for the sixth season).

Nancy in Weeds, season 5 (also wishful GPOY always)

When figuring out what to make Saturday, I was at a complete loss; I knew I wanted pasta, but I had no clue what to make. I presented M with some good (at least in my humble opinon) choices, but all were shot down until I showed him a recipe for a quick sausage ragú. It’s one of the few that comes together in less than an hour and a half start to finish, and it’s rich and heady and so delicious to feat upon. While I wished we made a trip to Eataly to get the crazy pasta shape initially called for, the pericatelli served admirably, lending a nice texture to the dish because some of the sauce seeped into the hole of the pasta.

This is a sauce for those who want a project for a weekend afternoon but don’t want the trouble of a traditional ragú (like the one I sang the praises of a few weeks ago from Heston Blumenthal); it’s so rich and sumptuous and aromatic, but it’s surprisingly simple, only needing a few ingredients compared to other ragús. As much fun as it is to make the complex ones, it’s also fun to make ones that can be made during the week and can serve as weekday meals (either lunch or dinner) over several days. Like a good Italian sauce recipe the sauce isn’t overbearing, but it’s rich enough to knock you out for quite a while…so it’s ideal for those colder days that still linger.

You can find the recipe here. You’ll thank me later, though it’s up to you to make the fresh pasta all squiggly like he suggests as dried pasta is perfectly acceptable.

Buon apetito!

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4 comments
  1. Everyone I know loves Weeds and I’ve never seen it. Maybe it’s time to get with t he program, eh?

    • I can see you loving the first three seasons instantly. The fourth is also good, but it moves away from the initial premise, and the fifth is absolutely crazy. So far the sixth season is pretty entertaining–while the show is very different from where it began, it’s still a really sharp show.

  2. Love the tie in of your dish to Weeds. I just recently got Netflix and have just got sucked into the first season of “Weeds.” It’s such a random all over the place show, but like you said, it’s just got a sharp and witty reality to it and I am already addicted.

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