Italian Sausage – How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Here I am waxing poetic about Italian sausage. Clearly a sign that I need to get a grip.
But in my defense, this was really, really good.
And easy, too!
I’ve made a couple of variations on this simple pasta dish but this recipe was definitely the best one so far.
Here’s what you need:
Italian Sausage, Onion, Butter, Olive Oil, Peas, Farfalle Pasta, Heavy Cream, Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan) Cheese, Salt & Pepper.
Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Chop up 1 medium onion (or I’m using 1/2 of a huge onion – about 1½ cups), add it to the pan, and sauté over medium heat about 5 minutes until golden but not overly browned or crispy.
Remove 1 pound of Italian sausage from its casing and add it to the onions, breaking it into small pieces as you go.
If your store only sells links of Italian sausage, 3 links usually equal about 1 pound. Cook the sausage until nicely browned and cooked through.
I should add that I spruce up my store bought sausage with a bit of red pepper flakes and a few extra fennel seeds. You obviously don’t need these if you are happy with the sausage as it comes from your store or deli.
When the sausage no longer shows any pink color, add 1 cup of water to the pan.
I think this is what makes this recipe so much better than the others. By adding a simple ingredient like water, the sausage and bits from the bottom of the pan make a tasty brown sauce. Unlike using stock or wine, the water doesn’t impart any other extra flavors to the sauce allowing the sausage flavor to shine through.
Bring the sauce to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes – or just as much time as you need to make the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous palmful of salt and cook 3/4 – 1 pound of Farfalle pasta (bow ties).
Once you’ve dropped the pasta in the water, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the sausage.
Add 1½ cups of frozen peas and stir them into the sauce. Bring the sauce back up to a low simmer to reheat and gently cook the peas.
The peas! I haven’t even mentioned the peas. They are so tender and sweet and the perfect pairing with the savory, salty sausage.
After about 8-10 minutes, your pasta should be al dente or tender but with the tiniest bit of bite in the center. Drain and transfer the pasta directly into the pan of sauce.
Add 1/3 cup of grated Romano or Parmesan cheese and toss to combine all of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Dish it up, dig in, and be incredibly happy.
This makes 4 huge servings of pasta and was great left over.
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from Hazan Family Favorites – Giuliano Hazan