Recipe

Pasta with cinnamon and sausage sauce

The original recipe from The Food of Love Cookery School uses a seashell-shaped pasta. But Nici prefers making corteccia, a pea-pod shape, as it’s faster, easier to make and will still capture the delicious sauce in all its nooks and crannies.

By Nici Wickes
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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This week at New Zealand Woman's Weekly, we're celebrating Weekly columnist and author Nicky Pellegrino ahead of the launch of her new novel A Dream of Italy. I adore Nicky's books and while her stories are fictitious, the recipes are the real deal. I've selected some favourites and tweaked them just a little to suit our Kiwi kitchens. Delizioso!
- Nici Wickes, Food Editor

Ingredients

Pasta
  • 500 g durum wheat flour (semolina flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • up to 1 cup tepid water
Sauce
  • 500 g Italian sausage (preferably flavoured with fennel seeds and chilli flakes)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 glass full-bodied red wine
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 400 g store-bought or homemade tomato passata
  • grated pecorino, to serve

Method

  • 1
    Pour the flour into a large, wide bowl. Use a fork to drizzle and mix in enough warm, salted water until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. Knead in the bowl until it comes together, then turn out onto a board and knead for 3-4 minutes more or until it is a silky and smooth ball.
  • 2
    Pinch off marble-sized pieces and roll them on a board or bench, under the palm of your hand, until tube-shaped and slightly tapered at each end. Using 3 fingers, press into the dough and drag back towards you so that the pasta rolls over and off the fingers (nail side). It should resemble a pea-pod. Rest assured, you will get better at it! Leave them out to air dry while you make the sauce.
  • 3
    To make the sauce, remove the sausage from its casing, break into small chunks, then sauté in extra virgin olive oil on a medium-high heat. Add the wine. When the alcohol evaporates, add in the cinnamon followed by the tomato sauce. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  • 4
    Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes. It will float to the surface as soon as it is ready. Place the pasta in a bowl with the sauce, mix well and sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese.

Notes

If you can't find durum wheat or fine semolina flour, coarse semolina will work. Just put it through a blender to make it finer. A little gritty is okay.

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