One of the most popular cured meats on restaurant charcuterie boards, soppressata is a hard salami from southern Italy. Andrew Carmellini's family grinds their own meat to make it, but much easier is buying Italian sausages and removing their casings. To give the fresh soppressata extra spice, use hot sausages instead of sweet ones, or increase the amount of crushed red pepper.
Slideshow: Great Italian Recipes
4 garlic cloves
1 1/3 cups dry white wine
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
One 28-ounce can plus one 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed, with their liquid
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
In a blender, puree the garlic with 1/3 cup of the white wine. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the sausage, fennel, black pepper and crushed red pepper and knead lightly to combine. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage mixture and cook over high heat, breaking up lumps with a spoon, until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices to the pan and season lightly with salt. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 5 cups, about 40 minutes.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until just al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss with the grated cheese, basil and parsley. Add the reserved cooking water and toss the pasta over moderately high heat, until nicely coated, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
The pasta sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Fruity, peppery Sangiovese.
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