Tonight's Dinner: Malloreddus (Sardinian Sausage and Pasta)
Jeff's Rating: (1 to 5 Yums): 5 Yums Left Over Ratings: 4.5 Yums
Things you need that aren't food: Mad Shopping Skills and an Italian Market
See the variants section below the recipe for a much easier shopping trip
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves
7 ounces Italian pure pork sausage, diced small
2 small handfuls of fresh basil leaves
1 can (14 ounces) chopped Italian plum tomatoes
water, fill the emptied tomato can
a good pinch of saffron threads
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 cups malloreddus (gnocchi sardi)
1 cup freshly grated pecorino sardo cheese
salt (1 teaspoon) and ground black pepper
1 Heat the oil in a sauce pan or medium skillet. Add the garlic, sausage, and half of the basil leaves. Fry, stirring like a madman (woman) until the sausage is browned all over. Remove and discard of the garlic. Add the tomatoes. Fill the empty can with water and pour it in the pan. Then stir in the saffron, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to your taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a big ol' pot of boiling water and salt. According the directions on the package.
3. Drain the pasta and turn it into a warmed bowl. Pour sauce the over the pasta and toss well. Add one third of the cheese and and the remaining basil and toss well to mix again. Serve immediately with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top.
Variants because some of the stuff was hard to find:
I couldn't find malloreddus so I used Gemelli pasta... I know this completely changes the dynamic of the dish since it is named after the pasta that it calls for but it still tasted quite good. If I make it the right way one day I will post it again and let everyone know how it went.
Saffron threads I didn't even put in... I got angry at the store because I couldn't find any Saffron at all so I just did without...it tasted wonderful, I'm sure the addition would have been really nice as well.
Pecorino Sardo cheese was another that I couldn't find at Kroger, I didn't expect it to be there, but maybe I would get lucky? I was lazy and disgraced fancy chefs everywhere by using Kraft Parmesan and Romano blend instead of true freshly grated cheese.
Italian Sausage... as a side note in this recipe it tells you that in Sardinia a special type of sausage is used. The sausage is flavoured with anise and black pepper and called sartizzu sardo. Now comes the awesome part....a good alternative would be the piquant salsiccia piccante or luganega! (If you can find them!!) I used Kroger Brand Sweet Italian Sausage.
This was really really good. I would have really enjoyed a more authentic interpretation of this dish, but I wasn't in the mood to hunt down the ingredients. Carfagna's (in Columbus) would probably have all of the speciality items required. An Asian or Indian market would probably have the saffron. It was pretty easy to make as well, so I really recommend that you try this out. It will definitely impress anyone you cook this for.