Frankfurter, aka Zoltan’s, Pasta; with Celery, Pecans and Fennel
“1564….Large numbers of locally produced sausages were handed out to the people of Frankfurt am Main to celebrate the coronation of Maximillian II as Holy Roman Emperor – a custom which was maintained for subsequent imperial coronations.”
A Curious History of Food and Drink, Ian Crofton
Brief history of the frankfurter and its ingredients
Frankfurters have been around since the 13th century (when they were exclusively made out of pork) and were given out to the people (a sort of latter day ‘bread and circuses’ approach) when there was an imperial coronation. Later a German butcher emigrated to Vienna where he added beef to the sausage but subtracted ‘Würstchen’ from the name. In the late nineteenth century a German immigrant (or several – many lay claim) in the States began to serve these sausages on rolls… There is a delightful story which probably isn’t true that an American food kiosk owner, selling at sporting events, named the combination ‘dachshund sandwiches’. But a cartoonist depicting them couldn’t spell ‘dachshund’ and renamed the marriage of bun and frankfurter, hot dog. In any case the ingredients seem to have gone full circle now since EVERY frankfurter I find in the supermarkets now features only pork.
How did I come to invent this recipe?
The original name for this particular pasta dish which also specifies a canine connection is ‘dog treat pasta’. Why? Because necessity is the mother of invention. Returning home after a trip abroad I found not just the cupboard bare (well, pretty much), but the fridge as well… except for the dog treats aka frankfurters.
This was the creative result, and it has become a firm favourite.
Recipe for Frankfurter Pasta
- 300ml/1¼ cups double cream
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 banana shallot
- 2 tbsp capers
- 2 frankfurters
- 250g pasta – penne would be good
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 tbsp roughly chopped pecans
- 2 teasp grainy mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- a little salt and about ten grinds Indonesia long pepper
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan (you don’t need much)
- put the plates in to warm and the water on to boil for the pasta
- slice the fennel into thin half moon shapes having trimmed it first and reserved the fonds
- start frying it in the olive oil
- chop the celery (reserving any nice looking leaves), add to the frying pan
- add the pasta to the boiling water – cook as per the packet
- chop the shallot, add to the frying pan
- chop the frankfurters – add them too, and the pecans, fry for another couple of minutes… THEN
- mix the mustard and seasoning in with the double cream
- drain the pasta (when it’s ready naturally) and put back in the hot saucepan
- add the cream mixture to the frying pan, cook for a minute or two to thicken and reduce
- add the frying pan mixture to the pasta and mix in (add a little olive oil if necessary)
- serve – garnishing with the fennel fronds and celery leaves
For Zoltan – In Memoriam
Listen to this exquisitely sad song by Oliver Dragojević and Amira Medunjanin, Tristeca, as you whip up this.