Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Francesca Calloni’s Sausage Pasta Sauce

Thank you to Francesca Calloni for this wonderful pasta sauce recipe from Emilia Romagna. Her mother learned to prepare it while she was living there as a young woman. According to Francesca, it is a part of the Italian “poor man’s cooking” that has become quite fashionable. It is filling and delicious, but not necessarily fancy. You’ll see how easy it is to cook! Francesca adds, “it's usually a winter meal or a summer meal with siesta included ;)”

Sausage Pasta Sauce

1 small onion

2 crushed, dried chili peppers (Francesca’s addition; not a part of the original recipe)

Extra virgin olive oil or good quality olive oil

500 grams of fresh Italian sausage (Francesca includes this link to show what the pork sausage should look like.)

1 can (4 oz or 425 ml) of crushed tomato (Francesca usually puts it in a blender first, but you can put it also just as it is)

pinch of salt

1/2 glass of white wine

To prepare the sausage, remove the casing and chop the meat.

Finely chop a small onion and sauté it in extra virgin olive oil (4-5 teaspoons should be enough). It should become quite golden. Be careful not to burn it.

Add the sausage and stir constantly. When it's almost cooked, add the wine and let the alcohol steam off.

Add the crushed tomato and 1/2 cup of water. Francesca usually rinses the tomato can with a bit more water and adds that to the pot. Let everything cook on a light heat for at least an hour. Don’t let the sauce boil.

It should be ready when you start to see the oil and grease separate from the tomato. At this point, the sauce should be fairly reduced. Francesca recommends to loosely cover the saucepan with a lid or your stove will quickly became a CSI scene because the tomato sauce will splatter. Be sure to allow some of the steam out or it will never properly reduce.

Optional: Add some heavy cream to the sauce at the end.

Serve with tagliatelle cooked al dente (egg pasta) with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Thanks again, Francesca!

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