This gramigna pasta recipe from Bologna is among the easiest sausage pasta dishes to prepare! With just three primary ingredients, it makes a delicious, hearty meal that is particularly popular with children in Italy.
Despite not being as well-known as other classic pasta dishes from Bologna, gramigna with sausage is a common and popular menu item in Bologna’s homes, restaurants and trattorias. The simplest and most traditional version of this sauce only has three ingredients: sausage, tomatoes, and onion.
Having made this recipe a number of times, I can safely say that it is absolutely delicious despite its simplicity. In fact, it’s hard to think of another pasta dish which is not only so simple but at the same time hearty and filling, whilst being so easy to make.
The use of sausage meat instead of ground beef certainly adds depth of flavour. I’m sure that once you’ve tried it, it will be a regular addition to your family menu repertoire!
What is Gramigna?
Gramigna is short squiggly hollow tubes of pasta, originally handmade but now mostly made with an extruder.
This pasta used to be only eaten as a fresh pasta but, nowadays, it is also available dried, although production is mostly artisan and gramigna is not so easy to find in shops or supermarkets outside of Italy.
However, you can buy gramigna on Amazon.com and there are also many artisan Italian pasta makers who have online shops and will send even small orders overseas.
Like many Italian pasta shapes, gramigna evolved over time, however this isn't an ancient type of pasta. When extruded, the fresh homemade and dry factory versions look similar, but the homemade pasta tends to be less uniform and actually slightly less squiggly!
- Gramigna: You can use both fresh or dried gramigna. Some other alternative kinds of pasta are fusilli, elbow marconi or even spaghetti.
- Sausage: Use an Italian pork sausage; these sausages are well seasoned with spices and add a ton of flavor to the sauce.
- White Wine: Use a dry white wine; this helps cut through the richness of the sausage mince, adding more balance and overall flavors. Some great dry white wines include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. If you want to use an Italian dry white wine, you can use an Italian Pinot Grigio.
- Tomatoes: Use good-quality passata or sieved tomatoes; one of my favorites is San Marzano.
- Parmigiano: I used Parmigiano Reggiano for this recipe, but you could also use Grana Padano. They both work best freshly grated, although you can use pre-grated if you are in a rush.
There are other versions of this sausage sauce apart from the simple 3-ingredient one I used in the recipe. Some people include cream or milk, garlic, rosemary or other herbs and celery or carrots. I have also made a version with sausage, peas and cream which is really good. However, this recipe is for the simplest version.
Step by Step Instructions
1) Decase the sausages by making a shallow lengthways cut along the sausage from top to bottom. Gently push the sausage mince out of the casing and onto a chopping board.
2) After all the sausages are decased, roughly chop the mince meat until it's in small chunks and then place in a bowl.
3) In a large sauté or frying pan, soften the onions for 4 to 5 minutes. Once softened, add the sausage mince meat.
4) Brown the minced meat in the pan; this should take around 4 to 5 minutes.
5) Add white wine and deglaze the pan by scrapping any brown bits of the bottom with a wooden spoon. Reduce for 3 to 4 minutes, then taste to season with salt and pepper.
6) Mix in the passata and leave to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes (mixing occasionally and adding a splash of water or white wine if the sauce gets to dry).
7) While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously season with salt and allow it to return to a boil. Once boiling, add the Gramigna and cook to al dente, following the packet's instructions.
8) Once the gramigna is cooked, strain it in a colander and add it to the pasta sauce.
9) Mix the gramigna with the sausage pasta sauce and cook for a further minute while mixing the pasta.
10) Serve immediately with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
If you do try this gramigna with sausage recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page. There are also more tasty Italian sausage pasta recipes to choose next.
More sausage pasta recipes:
- Bigoli with Luganega sausage, recipe from Veneto
- Tagliolini alla Langarola, recipe from The Langhe
- Homemade cavatelli with oyster mushrooms and sausage
- Pasta alla Norcina, recipe from Umbria
- Sicilian broccoli pasta with sausage and chard
- Tajarin pasta with beef sauasge
Pin for Later:
If you are interested in learning how to make homemade pasta and different types of gnocchi, check out my shop page for some great video online courses from my friends in Rome! Nothing beats learning to make pasta from Italians! Plus while you’re there why not order a copy of one of my pasta recipes cookbook!?