CLASSIC pasta rotelli with sausage and tomato








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We had a beautiful package of imported ruote di carro, or rotelli --  cartwheels. There had to be, somewhere, a recipe that would capture our fancy for serving this unusual pasta shape. We found it in Marcella's Italian Kitchen (see library), and here it is in slightly varied form -- ready to wheel out to the serving dish!

for the sauce:

  • three tablespoons butter
  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • two cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • one half pound of Italian sweet sausage (luganega if you can find it).
  • one quarter cup of imported peeled Italian plum tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • one quarter cup cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • three tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • one half cup freshly grated parmesan

for the pasta:

  • one pound of ruote di carro (rotelli)

Slice the sausage in discs, about a quarter inch, so their shape matches the cartwheels.

Put the olive oil and two tablespoons of the the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for fifteen seconds. Add the sausage and saute, turning them over as you go, until they are browned. Add the tomato, a teaspoon of salt, and pepper, and turn the heat down to a simmer for fifteen minutes.

Add the cream and turn the heat to high: reduce by half. Add two tablespoons of the chopped parsley and stir.

Meanwhile bring 4-5 quarts of water to a boil. Add two tablespoons of salt. Drop in the pasta and stir. Continue cooking until al dente (or just a touch short of al dente).

Drain and combine with the sauce over a medium heat. Add the parmesan, the last tablespoon of parsley and the last tablespoon of butter. Stir well. Taste for salt and pepper and roll them out to the dining room. Serve with extra freshly grated parmesan.



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