Sunday, May 27, 2007

Perciatelli with Sausage Sauce

This has to be the easiest of the pasta sauces and is usually the one I select when time is of the essence. With only 6 ingredients it requires minimum effort.


5 hot Italian sausages
1 diced medium yellow onion
3 minced cloves of garlic
1T dried basil
1 28oz can of peeled plum tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil, enough to saute sausage & onions
1/4 can of water

Alternate Ingredients:
Substitute 3 sweet sausage for 3 hot for a milder heat
Use more garlic
1/4t red pepper flakes may be used if you don't have hot sausage
If using fresh basil, double the amount


Cut the sausage into small pieces and saute in olive oil. After they have browned, add the diced onion and saute until translucent, then add garlic & basil and saute another minute.

Add the tomatoes after hand crushing them, then stir.

Add the water to thin out the sauce, stir, then reduce back to a thicker consistency. I have no idea why I do this or what it does, but I suspect it has become my insurance for not burning an unattended, simmering sauce. My grandmother always added water to thin out commercially prepared tomato sauce. It's what we do.

When the sauce is almost reduced to your liking, grate the cheese and put on a large pot of boiling, salted water for the pasta. We have always used Romano, a sheep's milk cheese (pecorino) for meat flavored tomato sauces.

After the pasta has cooked, drain and pour into a bowl that has been layered with some of the sauce.

Add the remainder of the sauce, then stir in and top with freshly grated Romano or Locatelli cheese. They are both pecorino cheese, but the Locatelli seems a bit dryer and saltier and may be of a lesser quality. Pecorino Sardo would be fine to use also.

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