I hit a plateau, and I was depressed. This plateau and the depressing Mumbai heat were making it difficult to be passionate about cooking. The heat has become unbearable and the kitchen a sauna, so eating and cooking things which are easy and fast to cook. If I can just pop it into the oven, no standing near the gas burner, I am the happiest. Over that the sudden plateau of no new ingredients to excite me. And then I read about crème fraiche………….and the excitement was back; something new to try out and experiment with.
It’s basically a soured cream made using buttermilk and is a favourite in France; and no kitchen can do without this essential ingredient. It’s naturally soured, thick and the best part of it is that it doesn’t split when heated. So it’s easier to cook with then fresh cream. Once you discover crème fraiche believe me you will not go back to regular cream. In India it’s quite expensive to buy so I suggest you make it at home, and it’s very easy to make. I have used crème fraiche to make pasta, but I am going to try and use it in an Indian recipe also soon. Before we go to how I made the pasta here’s how to start with the crème fraiche.
All you need is fresh cream and buttermilk, yes that’s all you need, didn’t I tell you it’s easy. The proportion that I followed was 1 tablespoon buttermilk to one cup of cream. Mix and pour it in a mason jar, in place of the lid cover with a thin piece of cloth and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 24 hours, your home made crème fraiche is ready for consumption. Refrigerate and it will last up to two weeks in the fridge.
And now onto to the delicious pasta I made with the delicious crème fraiche.
Sausage & Mushroom pasta with crème fraiche
250 Gms of pork sausages
4 bacon rashers diced
250 Gms mushrooms chopped
250 Gms penne pasta
50 Gms parmesan cheese grated and some shavings for serving
2 egg yolks
2-3 tbsp crème fraiche
Parsley chopped finely
Remove the skin of the sausages and get the meat out. Dry fry the sausage in a pan until brown, take it off and break it into chunks.
In the same pan fry the bacon and add the mushrooms, you don’t need to add oil as the bacon releases enough fat, let them cook for about 7-8 minutes, then return the sausage meat to the pan.
Meanwhile cook the pasta as per package instructions. Start working on the sauce by adding the two egg yolks, the cheese, parsley and the crème fraiche. When the pasta is cooked retain a bit of the cooking water. In low heat add the pasta, and the sauce to the meat mixture. Stir well, season with salt and pepper. You can add water if the sauce is too thick. Garnish with more parsley and parmesan. Serve immediately.
P.S Since discovering crème fraiche I can vouch for the fact that pasta tastes mush better than any other béchamel or milk based sauces that I may have used in the past.