Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mafaldine with Calabrese Sausage and Peppers

     Artisan Pasta!
     There are many ways that an Italian Fresh Sausage & Peppers Pasta can be prepared.  Some of the recipes are traditionally prepared the same way every time.  Pizzeria and New York Italian casual restaurants often feature pasta with fresh sausage & peppers smothered in tomato sauce.  A regional Italian restaurant might offer the same fresh sausage & peppers pasta with a garlic and olive oil sauce.
     Fresh Italian Sausage easily can be adapted to many pasta recipes, because this plump juicy sausage pleases the palate as soon as it is fully cooked.  Italian dry cure hard sausages, like Calabrese Sausage, require some extended simmering time, so the hard sausage becomes tender and the flavor is released.
     Large pieces of Calabrese Sausage and Soppressata Sausage are often added to stews or slowly simmered sauces to increase flavor.  Plenty of slow simmering is necessary to make the hard sausage tender.
     The problem with making a sausage & peppers pasta with Calabrese Sausage is that the bell peppers will become mushy if they are simmered for too much time.  The answer is to cut the Calabrese Sausage into very thin slices, so they will become tender after stewing for only a short time.  Aged Calabrese Sausage can really add a rich deep flavor to an "a la minute" pasta sauce, if this hard dry cure sausage is thin sliced.

     Mafaldine Pasta was named after Princess Mafalda Maria Elisabetta Anna Romana of Savoy.  This Italian Princess married a German officer during World War II and the marriage led to a tragic end for the princess.  She was sent to a concentration camp and later died there from a bomb blast.  A tragic love story it was and this popular ruffled ribbon pasta shape was named in her honor.
     Mafaldine Pasta is also called Mafalda Pasta.  Packages of this dried pasta can be found in Italian food markets and delicatessens.  The long ruffle edge ribbon pasta shape does look pretty on a plate.  Any sauce that accompanies papperdelle or fettuccine is nice with mafaldine.  Olive oil sauces are good with mafaldine too.  Mafaldine is considered to be an artisan pasta. 
     Mafaldine with Calabrese Sausage and Peppers:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty portion.
     Only enough sauce should be made to coat the pasta with flavor!
     Step 1:  Cook 1 portion of Mafaldine Pasta in boiling water over high heat till it is al dente.
     Cool the pasta under cold running water.
     Drain the water off the pasta.
     Toss the pasta with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and set it aside.
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 1 sliced shallot.
     Add 2 sliced garlic cloves.
     Sauté till the garlic turns a light golden color.
     Step 3:  Add 3/4 cup of mixed red bell pepper and green bell pepper that are cut into thick strips.
     Add 2 1/2 to 3 ounces of thin sliced Italian Calabrese Sausage.
     Briefly sauté till the peppers just start to become tender.
     Step 4:  Add 1/4 cup of Italian dry red wine.
     Add 1 cup of veal broth or rich chicken broth.
     Add 1/2 cup of imported Italian crushed plum tomatoes.
     Step 5:  Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Step 6:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh sage leaves.
     Add 1 pinch of basil.
     Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 small pinch of crushed dried red pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Step 7:  Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a thin consistency.
     Add the prepared Mafaldine Pasta to the sauce in the pan.
     Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
     Toss the pasta and sauce together occasionally, till the sauce reduces to a medium thin consistency that can cling to the pasta.
     Step 8:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Mound the sauced pasta on a plate.  Try to expose some of the featured ingredients on the surface.
     Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of fine grated Italian Parmigiana Cheese over the pasta.
     Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     The flavor of Mafaldine with Calabrese Sausage and Peppers is exceptionally nice tasting! 

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