Brats and Kraut Pasta

20191228_185933I know I’ve posted bratwurst and sauerkraut recipes before, but what can I say? I just love this fatty, salty, sour, funky flavor combo. Today’s recipe comes courtesy of a can of real German sauerkraut brought to me from Germany by a friend. I wanted to ADAPT the usual flavors, and turn it into a one-bowl, hearty, pasta based dish for easy leftovers. I took guidance from some of my other favorite recipes and chose to build a “sauce” for the pasta that wasn’t tomato or cream based, but rather closer to a vinaigrette. The vinegar and mustard flavors of the sauce really cut through the richness of the rest of the ingredients and help bring the sauerkraut flavor home. And in case you were wondering if this gets weird after a day or two in the fridge… nope. It just gets better!

Brats and Kraut Pasta
Makes 4-6 servings
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  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta, cooked al dente, save pasta cooking water for leftovers
  • 9 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound bratwurst sausage, whole
  • 0.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into a ¼ inch dice
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise and then cut each half into thin slices on a bias
  • ½ large yellow onion, quartered and cut into a medium slice
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups sauerkraut
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane or crushed

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  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over med-hi heat and cook the brats whole, turning to brown each side until cooked through, ~10 min
  2. Remove the brats to a cutting board and slice into 1 inch slices
  3. Add 2 Tbsp oil to the skillet and add potatoes, carrots, caraway seeds, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper and cook 5 min stirring frequently
  4. Add onions to the skillet and cook another 5 min
  5. Deglaze the pan with the wine and chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits
  6. Add the bay leaf, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper and reduce heat to med-low
  7. Simmer until carrots and potatoes are cooked through, ~7 min
  8. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the sausage, and turn off the heat
  9. Drain the 2 cups of sauerkraut, reserving the juice, and stir the kraut into the vegetables and sausage
  10. In a small bowl, whisk 6 Tbsp oil, 2 Tbsp kraut juice, mustard, vinegar, garlic, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper
  11. Toss the cooked pasta with this dressing, then stir in the vegetable mixture

Rating:

5/5 stars. 5 stars
This was extremely well BALANCED and I was so pleased. The sauerkraut flavor really stands up to the other ingredients (I was worried it would get lost) and overall everything just goes so well together and feels like it was meant to be. Even the vegetables provide an important note of sweetness (and vitamins), although I will say that the potatoes got lost. Maybe cut them larger next time?

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