This seems to be a pretty common recipe in Italian cookbooks, with minor variations. It’s pretty easy to cook up, although it does require a bit of recklessness with the heat. To get the best flavor from the sauce, you do need to work up a good amount of crust in the bottom of the pan while you’re sautéing the onions & sausage. You don’t really want to burn it, but you do want enough junk stuck on the bottom to make a nice sauce when you stir in the wine and tomatoes. I think the best pan for this is enameled iron; I use a Le Creuset French Oven and it works very well, including a very easy cleanup.
If you don’t have fresh rosemary, make something else tonight; this recipe really needs fresh.
No garlic in this recipe; garlic is great, but sometimes you need a break.
Pasta with Rosemary & Sausage
1 lb shaped pasta (the best for holding the sauce are fusilli, orechiette, & campagnelle)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium red onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
3/4 cup red wine
1 28-oz can plum tomatoes, removed from sauce and chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (use the big side of a box grater)
Heat water for pasta.
Heat olive oil in large enamel skillet or French oven over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add onions and stir until golden-brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add rosemary, sausage, & red pepper flakes and stir, reducing heat to medium and breaking up sausage as it browns. (What works really, really well for this is a potato masher that looks like this; just mash down like it’s Thanksgiving.) Continue to cook mixture until the sausage is a little brown and crispy, about 10-15 minutes.
Add wine and scrape up bits from bottom of pan. Cook for about a minute. Add tomatoes and stir, lower heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce takes on a uniform consistency, about 20 minutes.
Cook pasta for about a minute less than the package recommends.
Add cream to sauce, bring back to simmer, cook for 1 minute, add cheese, and simmer again. Reduce heat to low, simmer very slowly, until pasta is done. Drain pasta, add to sauce, and simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Taste for salt and serve! More (finely grated) Parmesan is probably unnecessary, but it tastes pretty good! Have a ball! Call your cardiologist! (She’ll probably want to come over for dinner; tell her to bring a good Volpolicella Ripasso! And some atorvastatin.)