CASARECCE WITH SAUSAGE RAGU
This cararecce pasta with sausage ragu is a bit of an ode to Sicily and a delicious variation of a traditional Italian meat sauce.
The chosen pasta, casarecce is a pasta variety that originated in Sicily. As an added benefit, the short, twisted tube-shaped pasta makes it perfect for holding onto sauces and toppings!
On top of that, wild fennel is indigenous to Sicily and is found in the island’s many dishes. This includes traditional fennel sausages that are then used to create a wonderful pasta sauce. Here, it provides a perfect base and depth of flavour, whilst the wine, lemon and parsley bring freshness to the dish.
This easy and sumptuous pasta dish is, without a doubt, an excellent option for a cosy night in, or for feeding a crowd at your next dinner party.
4 Italian Fennel Sausages, skins removed
2 Shallots, finely chopped
400g Dried Casarecce pasta
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
400g Tin of Plum Tomatoes in their Juice
150ml Dry White Wine
Juice of Half a Lemon
1 Large Bunch of Parsley, roughly chopped
1 Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Place a large pan over a medium heat and add in the onion, sweat the onion for 3 minutes until starting to colour and then add in the minced garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onions from burning.
2. Then, using your hands, thoroughly break up the sausages until the meat resembles minced pork. Add the sausage meat into the pan and turn up the heat, cooking until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper before adding in the wine. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
3. Reduce to a medium-low heat and stir in the tomatoes. At this point, leave the sauce to gently simmer for 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes and sausage meat have broken down to give an even consistency. Finally, add in the lemon juice.
4. Place the casarecce in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook the pasta until al dente.
5. Making sure to retain some of the cooking water, drain the casarecce pasta and add to the ragu with a splash of cooking water if needed to loosen the sauce. Add in the parsley and toss the pasta in the pan until well coated in the ragu. Serve immediately with some more parsley to garnish and a grating of parmesan.