Melissa's spicy sopressata pasta

Sopressata pasta

I've been waiting as long as I could to write about this dish... finally it's November. You see, Melissa Clark's new cookbook, Cook This Now, is smartly organized by month. Seasonal books are nice, but "summer" is a little vague. A chapter of all November recipes is just what I need. The right ingredients and the right kind of cooking. Of course I fell in love with the November recipes while it was still October, but that's another story. If you read my blog every now and then, you might already know I'm a pasta addict. This recipe for Pasta with Spicy Salami Tomato Sauce had my name all over it.

tomato sauceIt starts out like a lot of my favorite recipes, with sauteed onion and garlic, then some canned San Marzano tomatoes.tomato sauceAfter a bit of cooking, you get something like this. It looks pretty tasty, but it's a bit too chunky to call it a sauce yet.KitchenAid hand blenderThat's where my new toy came to the rescue. The folks over at KitchenAid invited me to an event in New York City to check out their newest food processor and stand mixer recently, and they sent me home with this amazing hand blender. Three speeds, a multitude of removable attachments which makes for very easy cleaning, cool styling -- if you saw my junky, old plastic hand blender which had a big crack in the side (from a brand we won't mention), you'd know why I'm so excited about this new KitchenAid model.tomato sauceMelissa's recipe called for putting the tomato mixture through a food mill, but I think my new KitchenAid hand blender got the job done flawlessly. Just look at that texture.Sopressata pastaNext you saute some sopressata. This is where the recipe gets interesting because this variety of salami packs a little punch. She says to cut it into "batons." Hmm, my pieces are a little more random than that, but it doesn't matter much. Eventually you mix up the sopressata with cooked whole wheat pasta (or farro pasta) and the pureed tomato sauce.Sopressata pastaThis is a hearty dish, perfect for when the weather is turning cold and for anyone who likes their pasta on the meaty side. Oops, she calls for serving it with some fresh mint, but I couldn't find any at the market (weird, I know...), but it was still really satisfying. Now I have to find time to make the rest of those yummy November recipes.