March 11, 2013

Pasta Rustica

I have a favorite pasta dish that I make based on a dish from a local Italian restaurant.  It's  heavy on garlic and olive oil, light on the red sauce.  I try to make my own sauce whenever time permits, but use jarred when I am in a hurry. I make it many different ways and it is extremely versatile.  I will sometimes add some heavy cream at the end to make a "Pasta Pink" sauce, or add slivered peppers, onions and sliced chicken to make it more "rustic". 

1 lb. pasta of choice
1 lb. (about 5 links) sweet Italian sausage
1 28 oz.can of crushed Marzano tomatoes
1 cup of red wine
4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and minced
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. onion salt
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups of Extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and sliced

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan or skillet, brown sausage an cook through, about 25 minutes.
  2. Cool and thinly slice sausage on the diagonal.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in the same pan, add the sausage and brown over medium heat..
  4. Remove sausage from skillet and saute shallots until golden brown.Remove from pan.
  5. In same pan, pour 1/4 cup olive oil, add  all spices.  Heat until fragrant.
  6. Add can of crushed tomatoes.  Stir and add in  red wine.
  7. Simmer and reduce to half, about 6 minutes until thickened. 
  8. Add sausage and simmer about 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions (hot to cook  pasta to al dente instructions here)
  10. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the water. Add water to the red sauce and stir.  
  11. Heat remainder 1 cup of olive oil in the pasta pot.  Add garlic and saute for  a few seconds.
  12. Add pasta back to the pot of oil and garlic, stirring to coat.
  13. Plate the pasta on a large platter, top with sausage and reserved shallots.  
  14. Serve with shaved Asiago or Parmesan cheese and a loaf of crusty bread. 

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