Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ragu di salsiccia

Day Three of the Chinese New Year Pork Festival.

Today we’re off to Italy to see how Italians cook up the cute little piggy.

I love pasta and I especially love chunky, meaty sauces. Of course Jonas’ vegetarianism means that it’s not all that often that I end up making these delicious concoctions, but when Jonas works late, and I have what I call a ‘meat night’, I love to make a simple sausage ragu.

Sausage meat can be so tasty because it’s all the rough cuts, the lard and some spices. What more could you ask for? Italian style sausages are particularly good for this dish since they contain a little chilli already. And of course, we’re talking 100% pork.

Top the pasta with pecorino not parmigiano. Giorgio Locatelli recommends pairing pecorino with pork, and this is a man I trust wholeheartedly when it comes to Italian cuisine. Perhaps this is because pecorino (being made from sheep’s milk) is more pungent than parmigiano and therefore better suited to stronger flavours such as bacon and pork.

Ragu di Salsiccia
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 4.

1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 large spicy Italian pork sausages
2 tablespoons tomato paste
250ml passata
¼ cup red wine
Salt and pepper, freshly ground
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup finely grated pecorino, to serve

1. Cut the ends from the sausages and squeeze the sausage meat from the skins into a bowl. 2. Mash the sausage meat and break it up a little.
3. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté onion until soft. Add garlic and sauté until soft also.
4. Add sausage meat and fry, being sure to break meat into smaller pieces like mince. The meat is very sticky due to the lard content so be sure to continually break it apart.
5. When meat is browned, add tomato paste. Fry for a minute or so until thickened.
6. Add red wine and passata then turn heat down and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Taste for seasoning, then stir through parsley. Remove from heat.
8. Stir through cooked pasta of choice before topping with pecorino and serving.

Buon appetito!


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