This is a dish from Northern Italy and is very easy to make, yet rich and delicious. You can buy bulk Italian sausage and I suggest buying it at a Italian Market such as Mazzaro’s in St. Petersburg, FL. If you only can find Italian sausage in casings, just remove the casings. Grate your own Parmigiano Reggiano, it’s better than pre-grated. This is a simple recipe, but you’ll get raves from your family or guest! Enjoy with some Italian red wine! Ciao!
- 1 package (16 oz.) rigatoni pasta cooked al dente
- 1 lb. Italian sausage casings removed (buy bulk if available)
- 8.5 oz. heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 tsp. Saffron threads
- 3 tbsp. Marsala (dry)
- salt for pasta
- pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil as required
Place saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of hot water to soak. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to boil again.*
Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil in a fry pan or skillet on medium-high heat and brown the Italian sausage, breaking it up into chunks until well browned. (Pat some of the excess oil up with clean paper towels, then discard the paper towel.) Add the Marsala. Let the alcohol evaporate about 1 minute and then add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking on a medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add the saffron and water to the sauce, Stir and mix well. Let it thicken, approximately 3 minutes.
*Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the box. When the pasta is ready, save 2 cups of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the pan along with the grated cheese. Mix everything together well. If the sauce seems dry, add some of the pasta cooking water little at a time. Serve immediately with some more grated cheese. Serves 4