The Canadian Food Experience Food Project Challenge Nine has come and gone. An easy, yet diverse topic this month to showcase something you Love during the month coined for many as, “the month of Love”.
For over ten years we have been avid fans of Spolumbo’s Sausages. Having tried them once at a work industry event, served up by Tony Spoletini himself, I was smitten. With the sausage, of course. It was the beginning of a love affair that is still going strong. We loved them so much in fact, we placed a large order for our Wedding Rehearsal Dinner. Ten years ago.
Spolumbo’s sausages are locally made, and lean, with no fillers, binders or preservatives, plus the variety of sausages available is outstanding. The story of how Spolumbo’s started is a happy one. Gather 3 first generation Italian-Canadian boys, and raise them to be good strong boys who like to eat, cook and play football. A passion for cooking, and common bond of playing football for the Calgary Stampeders, gave Tom Spoletini, Mike Palumbo and Tony Spoletini the drive they needed to get started.
It wasn’t long before these three were making sausages after hours at a local family run restaurant that sold the sausages in house, and to other eateries in Calgary. The increasing demand saw them outgrow their simple and humble beginnings to go on to purchase their own Deli and Sandwich Shop in Inglewood. Today you can find Spolumbo’s sausages in many of the large Supermarkets in Western Canada above and beyond their shop in Inglewood. It’s a Canadian success story and a local food place I am happy to support. I can honestly say we buy the sausages every 1-2 weeks and use them in several ways. The kids love them grilled. I put them into pasta, soups, and all kinds of other delicious dishes. I’ve even been known to pack them up for traveling and camping.
This dish is one I’ve been making for over 20 years. And it’s been awhile since I’ve made it. Full of delicious Spolumbo’s Italian Sausages, artichoke hearts, onions and garlic, and topped with Asiago cheese, it’s comfort food at it’s best. This recipe was featured in an Anniversary addition cookbook from my home town back in 1995. Yes I have been cooking for awhile.
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The Canadian Food Project Experience was started on June 7, 2013 by Valerie Lugonja of A Canadian Foodie. It’s a compilation of Canadian Food Bloggers who are committed to sharing their time, unique regional Canadian food experiences, and recipes. We hope to bring clarity to our Canadian Culinary identity by sharing food that is important to us as Canadians.
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 (1.5 lb) Italian sausages
- 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 tbsp sundried tomatoes
- 6-8 roma tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh basil or
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- salt and pepper
- Asiago Cheese, grated
- 1 box Spaghetti
- Start the water for your pasta. Once boiling salt it well and drop your noodles in.
- Over medium high heat and in a large sauce pan, saute onion in olive oil. After about 5 minutes or when onion starts to turn translucent, add your garlic.
- Meanwhile in a second smaller pot of boiling water score the top of your tomatoes with an X and drop into the pot of water. Blanch for about 2-3 minutes or until the skin starts to peel back from the X. Drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and start peeling off skin. Chop and set aside.
- Take sausages out of casings and break up in pan with onions and garlic. Cook until brown.
- Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. The tomatoes will start to melt into the sauce. Simmer about 10 minutes.
- Add in basil, and sundried tomatoes. Simmer another 10 minutes. If mixture starts to dry add a splash of pasta cooking water.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Drop into sauce pan and toss. Turn off heat. Add in a little of the pasta water to keep it all loose.
- Pour into pasta serving dish and top with more fresh basil if available and lots of freshly grated Asiago cheese.