A traditional tasty sausage and pasta recipe from the island of Sardinia
- 400 g Sardinian gnocchi - Malloreddus
- 500 g fresh pork sausage seasoned with fennel
- 500 g Fresh tomatoes ( I used large datterini)
- 100 g Pecorino cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp saffron threads or 1 sachet saffron powder
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt for pasta and to taste
- black pepper to taste
Finely chop the onion and garlic. Remove the sausage meat from its casing and break into small pieces. Peel the tomatoes and cut them into halves or quarters depending on their size. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces. If using saffron threads soak them in a small glass of warm water for 15-30 minutes first.
Fry the finely chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil until the onion starts to soften. Then add the sausage meat and brown it a little.
Add the pieces of tomato, 2/3 of the basil and the saffron with its water. (if you are using saffron powder then add a small glass of water and the saffron separately)
Stir everything together well, add salt and pepper to taste and turn the heat to low. Simmer for about 1 hour.
When the sauce is half way done, put a pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once the water starts to boil.
Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. (fresh pasta cooks faster that dried) save some of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
Mix the Malloreddus with the sauce and some of the grated pecorino. If the sauce seems too dry add some of the pasta cooking water and stir well.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of chopped basil and some extra grated cheese as required.
If you can’t find sausages with fennel you can also add crushed fennel seeds to the sauce to give it a similar flavour.
If finding Sardinian gnocchi is a problem, you can also use cavatelli which are very similar, or a small pasta tube such as elbow pasta.