Every cabin should have a stack of old food magazines. They’re perfect reading for those days when you are trapped by bad weather miles from shopping malls, movie theaters and sidewalks.
Food magazines don’t have news stories, political cartoons, investment advice columns or movie reviews. They do have ads, photos, advice columns and an occasional editorial. And of course they have lots of recipes.
Our collection of old Bon Appetite and Cuisine magazines includes issues from the 1980’s and 90’s. They are filled with things I didn’t know. For instance, in the July-August 1981 edition of Cuisine there’s an ad for a zucchini cookbook. I can only think that the author must have planted ten hills of zucchini and was desperately trying to find ways to justify the mistake.
Letters to the editor in the same issue are relevant today. From one writer I learned, for instance, that one of my favorite wines, Gewürztraminer, goes well with Indian cuisine. I wish I had known this two years ago when there was a case price special on that wonderful wine at the local store.
The editorial in the August 1995 issue of Bon Appetite is a a philosophical essay. Among other matters “The Real Dirt on Gardens” addresses the question of whether “leisure activity” is an oxymoron. The editor’s conclusion is that “Leisure is leisure and activity is activity and never the twain shall meet. Not on my sofa, anyway.” Clear, concise and accurate.
My wife was ignoring me and reading this issue while lying on the bed in front of our newly installed room air conditioner when she announced that she had found a recipe that looked good to her. In the newly cooled air of the bedroom I first learned about “Linguine with Summer Peppers and Sausage,” one of the recipes in the “30 Minute Main Courses” article from long ago.
All I will say is, “It’s delicious!”
1 lb. mild or sweet Italian sausage
2 large bell peppers, preferably red and green
1 medium onion (3 to 4 inches)
1 large clove garlic
1 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works well)
1 lb. linguine
Salt for the linguine cooking water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more to pass
First begin heating three to four quarts of water in a large pot. Peel and thinly slice the onion . Then wash the peppers. Remove the stem, seeds and white membrane and chop the peppers into half inch pieces. Remove the paper from the garlic clove and mince it.
Sauté the sausage in a large skillet until it is lightly browned. Break the sausage into bite-sized pieces as it is browning. Depending on your sausage, either drain the meat or add a little oil. You should have about a tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the onion and peppers and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until the wine is slightly reduced, about six or seven minutes.
While the meat and peppers are simmering, cook the linguine al dente, following the directions on the pasta package. Drain the pasta and mix it with the sausage and peppers. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Add a little salt and pepper and taste. Adjust as necessary.
Serve with salad and bread for a wonderful but simple dinner. Pass the parmesan so guests can add more if they wish.
NOTES: Any sweet summer peppers can be used. You should have two to three cups of chopped peppers. Chardonnay can be substituted for the sauvignon blanc.