Spaghetti 'N' More Meatballs
Such a successful combination, this dish always goes down well. It is also wonderfully versatile, as...
"These gorgeous large tubes of pasta originate from Campania and Calabria. They go well with a variety of different sauces but seem to work perfectly with this rustic ragu. Legend has it that the pasta derives its name from the Italian word for slap after the sound they make when the sauce hits the pasta." - Guy Grossi.
500g good-quality paccheri pasta
Grated Parimigiano, to serve
3 x 400g tins whole peeled tomatoes
1.2kg (about 12) pork and fennel sausages
150mL olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 long red chilli, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
100g tomato paste
150mL white wine
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
To make the ragu, put the tomatoes in a container and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Set aside.
Slice the sausages into chunks or, if you prefer, remove the skins from the sausages and break up the sausage meat. Heat 100mL olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the sausage meat in batches and cook until nicely coloured. Remove to a plate or tray.
Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pan, add the garlic and onion and cook for a few minutes without colouring. Stir in the celery, carrot, chilli, bay leaves and parsley and cook for 6–8 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
Mix in the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, then return the seared sausage meat to the pan. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and bring to the boil. Add the pureed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 35–40 minutes or until the ragu is rich and flavoursome. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the paccheri and give it a gentle stir so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Cook for 6 minutes or until al dente.
Drain the pasta as soon as it is ready and add to the ragu. Give it a good mix and serve topped with freshly grated Parmigiano.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Cellar Bar by Guy Grossi (Lantern, a Penguin imprint, $49.99).