Tue Dec 2014
Tuscan sausage and rosemary ragù
This is an anglicized version of a Tuscan pasta recipe I learnt on a recent trip to Tuscany. It is quite different to the sausage and rosemary pasta I ate near Colle di Val d’Esta. There, extra virgin olive oil was warmed and infused with fresh rosemary, and then the sausage was crumbled into the warm oil, cooked briefly and stirred through some pappardelle. My version uses tomatoes to make more of a sauce to go with the pasta, which is just as delicious – just a little bit anglicized. I made this using Tuscan sausages – made, of course, from 100% pork (adding nothing to bulk out the meat), Chianti Classico, spices and seasonings.
It is a delicious, quick and easy supper, served with a generous grating of fresh parmesan on top.
• A generous glug of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large sprig fresh, fragrant rosemary, plus a little extra to serve
• 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
• 4 large Tuscan sausages, casing removed and crumbled
• 1 tin San Marzano tomatoes, either chopped or crushed
• Sea salt and pepper
• Approximately 300g fresh or dried pasta
Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large frying pan. Add the rosemary and turn the heat on to a moderate temperature, allowing it to infuse for a few minutes. You can now remove the rosemary sprig if you like or keep it in for a more intense flavour.
Next, add the crushed garlic and cook gently until fragrant. Crumble in the sausage and cook for five minutes or so until lightly browned. Make sure that you don’t turn the heat up too high, or else the garlic will burn. Next, add the tomatoes, season to taste and allow to cook for around 10-15 minutes until thickened.
This is the time to cook your pasta now, according to the instructions on the pack. Most will take around 7-12 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, drain well, retaining a cup of the cooking water. Put the drained pasta back into the cooking pan, which will still be hot. Add the sausage sauce, cooking water and stir together well.
Serve immediately in warmed bowls with some extra rosemary as a garnish and plenty of freshly-grated parmesan cheese.
Charlotte is a Ballymaloe-trained chef and an award-winning cook and food writer. She is the author of three cookery books and counting and writes regularly for a range of websites, newspapers and magazines on food. She is a member of the Guild of Food Writers.
Where will you taste Tuscan sausage and rosemary ragu this year?