I spent last week in Tuscany. My base for the week was Radda in Chianti, and I spent the week travelling round the entire Toscana region learning about their food, their wine, their best ingredients and methods of cooking. It was a genuinely fascinating week, and I have so much to share with you about it.
This recipe is one I cooked before I went over to Italy, and it was son interesting to compare it to the food I ate out there. When writing this up back at home, I was debating whether or not to call this recipe Tuscan. 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 pappardelle.
It may not be very authentic, but we tend to prefer a little more sauce to go with our pasta in our house, so I added tomatoes and garlic to make more of a sauce. I retained the Tuscan name in the title as it was made using Tuscan sausages – made, of course, from 100% pork (adding nothing to bulk out the meat), Chianti Classico, spices and seasonings.
I’m not entirely certain what the Tuscan cooks would have to say about this, but it is a delicious, quick and easy supper, served topped with a generous grating of fresh parmesan.
Tuscan sausage and rosemary ragù
- 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 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 the rosemary 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.
Now, add the crushed garlic and cook gently until fragrant. Crumble in the sausage and cook for 5 minutes or so until lightly browned. 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.