Garlicky braised escarole adds a pleasant bitter hit to this versatile sweet sausage ragù from chef Josh Laurano at Mario Batali’s La Sirena restaurant in New York City.
Slideshow: Mario Batali Recipes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 fennel bulb, minced
2 large yellow onions, finely chopped (4 cups)
4 garlic cloves—2 smashed and 2 minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups dry red wine
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 heads of escarole (2 pounds), coarsely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
Crushed red pepper
1 pound dried orecchiette
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
How to Make It
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the fennel, half of the onions and the smashed garlic to the casserole and season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are golden and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the sausage, red wine, tomatoes and 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the sauce is thickened, 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the remaining chopped onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped escarole in batches, stirring until each batch is wilted before adding more. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and a pinch of crushed red pepper and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the escarole is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir the escarole mixture into the sausage ragù.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and add the reserved water, 5 cups of the ragù, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the 1 cup of grated cheese. Season with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper and toss to coat. Serve with additional cheese. Reserve the remaining ragù for later use.
The ragù can be refrigerated for 5 days or frozen for 1 month.
A fruity Nero d’Avola tinged with bitterness, such as the 2009 Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Sicilia.
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Review Body: Would like to try this recipe but the process seems incomplete.
Review Rating: 3
Date Published: 2016-10-04
Author Name: Francine Corry
Review Body: I agree with Julie,are we to crumble the sausage and at what point is it added and where?A response would be appreciated.
Date Published: 2016-09-27
Author Name: julie cavender
Review Body: In step #1, do you add the sausage back in to the veggies and liquids to simmer? It doesn't say so, but I would assume. Plus, do you really add 2 cups red wine, 2 cups water and the 28oz crushed tomatoes? Seems like a lot of liquid! Could someone please clarify? I want to make the recipe this weekend. Thanks!