Lasagnette Ricce with Cotechino Braising Sauce

Lasagnette ricce is a long, thin pasta with curly edges. If the lightly cured cotechino sausages called for below are unavailable, fresh Italian pork sausages can be substituted, but their cooking time should be shortened.

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  • Servings: 6

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  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds cotechino sausages
  • 3 thin slices pancetta, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • Scant 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade meat broth or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • One 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Water
  • 1 pound dried lasagnette ricce
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino Toscano cheese (about 4 ounces)

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium enameled cast-iron casserole. Prick the sausages several times with a fork and brown them in the casserole over moderately high heat. Transfer the sausages to a plate and set aside.

  2. Add the pancetta to the casserole and cook until most of the fat has been rendered, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion and carrot and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf and cook until the garlic is beginning to color. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.

  3. Return the sausages to the casserole. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil; the liquid should almost cover the sausages. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sausages, turning them several times, until they are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove the sausages, cover with foil and set aside for later use. Skim the sauce; if it seems very brothy, boil it down for about 5 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Add the parsley and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.

  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta just until al dente. Drain well and transfer to a serving bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and toss briefly. Add the sauce and toss again. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Tomatoes add an acidic note that's best matched by a tart red, such as an Italian Barbera.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published January 1999

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