In today's Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park segment, we learn how to make some winter comfort food with Chef Alyssa Bierling at the Taste of the Gardens Café. Chef Alyssa focuses on fresh & local ingredients, some of which are grown on-site. Here is the recipe Chef Alyssa taught us how to make:



1½ Tbsp of unsalted butter

1 Italian sausage

1 Tbsp of toasted ground fennel

1 Tbsp of heavy cream

½ cup of minced onion

⅓ cup of mined carrot

⅓ cup of minced celery

3 Tbsp of chopped garlic

2 tsp of dried basil

⅓ cup of white wine

2 tsp of black pepper

Salt to taste


Mix toasted ground fennel seeds into your Italian Sausage. Brown the butter in the pan and add the Italian Sausage mixture. Use a spoon or whisk to break up the sausage while browning it in pan. After browning sausage, add mirepoix and garlic and keep it moving around in th pan until you can really smell the garlic. Keep an eye on it, you don't want it to burn. When you start to see brown bits form on the bottom of the pan, this is the stage you'll want to add your wine.

Now, add your heavy cream and coat sausage and vegetables. It will be glossy in appearance. Once slightly reduced, add your centos and dried basil. Reduce again until sauce deepens in color. Season with fresh ground pepper and salt. The longer you reduce, the thicker the sauce.

Toss with pasta of your choice. In this recipe, Rotelle was used. Finish with buttered toasted panko, freshly grated parmesan, and chopped fresh parsley/fennel.

Now eat!

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