Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sausage & Olive Tepanade Pasta

Collecting more condiments than I can possibly use was the impetus for this recipe. My jar of green olive tepanade from Italy was going to get stale dated if I didn't start using it soon.

4 Italian sausage
1 small yellow onion
2t dried basil leaves
1/4t hot red pepper
1 can stewed tomatoes
2T green olive tepanade
extra virgin olive oil
1lb. pasta
Freshly grated Romano cheese 

Directions: Start by placing a 4-6 quart pot full of water on the burner and bringing it to a rolling boil for the pasta. I usually start the water after I've prepped the ingredients for the sauce.

Saute onion slices in olive oil drizzled lightly into a pan large enough to hold 1 lb. of pasta plus the sauce ingredients. Add the basil and red pepper.

Add garlic to the onion and move off heat or they'll burn. Now add chopped sausage over medium high heat and saute until caramelized a little bit.

After the sausage, onion and garlic have cooked together and are fully cooked, add the olive tepanade. Black olive tepanade could be substituted.

Add the stewed, or of you prefer, solid packed tomatoes and break them up. I do what Nana did and squish them in my hand; a tool I never misplace!

Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes break down further. If the mixture looks dry, add a little water before simmering the sauce.

When the sauce is done, cover and shut off the burner. Cook the pasta al dente, drain, then place it in the sauce and stir over a low flame 2 minutes.

After the sauce has absorbed into the pasta it's ready to plate. you may add some cheese to the pasta before plating, just like Nonna (Nana's mother, my great grandmother did), but I really prefer to add it after plating. I like the way it looks. I truly believe Nonna added the cheese before bringing the pasta to the table, as a way of conserving the use of a very expensive imported cheese. Even when pasta was served family style at Nana's table, there was only one bowl of grated cheese available for everyone to use,  and Papa "read you the riot act" if you took too much!

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