Really rich, this dish packs a punch of flavour so it’s perfect for a small starter.
Penne con Sugo di Salsiccie – serves 6-8 as a starter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 Italian spiced, fresh pork sausages, meat removed from skins and crumbled
- 2 small red onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 small dried chillies, crumbled (or you could use chilli flakes)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 bottle red wine (preferably something Italian, like a Chianti)
- 2 x 400g tins peeled plum tomatoes, drained
- ½ nutmeg, freshly grated
- 120g Parmesan, freshly grated
- 150ml double cream
- 250g penne rigate
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the sausagemeat, stirring and breaking it up, until the juice from the meat has evaporated and the fat has started to run.
Add the onion, garlic, chilli and bay leaves and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until the onions are brown.
Pour in the wine, increase the heat and cook until it has evaporated.
Add the tomatoes, lower the heat, and simmer gently until you have a thick sauce, about 45-60 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, then add the Parmesan and cream.
Cook the penne in lots of salted water, drain well, and add to the sauce.
Wine Suggestion: We drank a delightful Langhe Nebbiolo from the Produttori del Barbaresco which went well. We’d suggest finding a red wine with a bit of acidity to cut through the richness, good tannins to counteract the protein richness, and yet not too much weight. Nebbiolo or Sangiovese …
(Original recipe from The River Café Cookbook by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, Ebury Press, 1995.)