Marcella Hazan is to Italian cooking in the USA as Julia Childs was to French. She brought Americans out of the Ragu jar and overstuffed lasagna pan and into the delicate refinement of Italian Food. This is a simple and quick sauce. You want to buy a good quality canned tomato. Cheaper tomatoes tend to be more acidic and less ripe when they are processed – so they don’t have a nice soft texture or sweet taste. Since this recipe doesn’t require a lot of tomatoes, you can spend a little more.
Pasta with Sausages, Cream and Tomato from Marcella’s Italian Kitchen
1/2 pound mild pork sausage*, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic (2 normal sized heads)
2/3 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 pound pasta (something that catches the sausage: shells, cartwheels, etc). Prepared per pkg. directions.
Freshly grated Parmesan to pass at the table
* Don’t use “Italian” sausage which tends to have a lot of fennel and spices. Go for a nice simple breakfast sausage.
1. Put the oil and garlic in a skillet and turn heat to medium. When the garlic begins to color, add the sliced sausages. Turn them about until they are starting to brown on both sides. Add the tomatoes, stir, and cook at a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. The tomatoes should be reduced and the oil should be separating a little. Add the cream and increase the heat to medium high, stirring frequently for about two minutes. Season to taste: if the tomatoes are tart, add a little sugar. Remove from heat and add the parsley.
2. Stir the pasta into the sauce and pass the Parmesan.
This is enough sauce for a pound of pasta which is good for about 4 people (we stretch it to 5 at home). If you want to make a little more, you can just add a little more of everything. You can be approximate in these measurements.
Serve with a salad, or steamed broccoli and bread.