Pappardelle with Sage, Sausage & Porcini Mushrooms
I discovered lots of quiet classics when I travelled through Italy a few years ago. When I say quiet classics, I mean dishes which are considered classically Italian, but you never hear about the, outside of Italy. I'm not sure exactly why this is, because they're just as good, if not better, than the likes of carbonara and lasagne. Who am I to question why this is anyways? It is what it is, now I'm here to make justice and show you something delicious you might not have seen before.
Of all the lovely dishes I ate during my month in Italy, this was actually the last one! I ate it on my last night, in a trattoria near St Anthony's Basilica in Sorrento. The menu read 'pappardelle con salsiccia e porcini', simply meaning 'pappardelle pasta with sausage and (porcini) mushrooms. Sounded delightful.
What I got was the most scrumptious pasta dish I've ever eaten, and the one dish I've probably made the most from that trip. I make it non-stop, especially in the Autumn, when sausages and mushrooms are in their element and the whole thing just feels right. For this dish, I use sage-flavoured sausage meat (don't worry about finding Italian sausages, I just buy British pork sausages, squeeze the meat from the skins and add dried sage and black pepper). This aromatic sausage meat gives way to a hauntingly good sauce, rich with butter, white wine and porcini mushrooms. It takes 10 minutes to makes, and stirred through freshly cooked pappardelle pasta, it's an speedy after-work supper. I've tried all kinds of recipes over the years and one which has fit, though I still make little changes to my recipe to it every so long. I'll be sure to report back and add any modifications I make.
PAPPARDELLE WITH SAGE, SAUSAGE AND PORCINI
- 2 servings of dried Pappardelle pasta (approx. 300g)
- 6 good quality British Pork Sausages
- 1 tsp Dried Sage
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 30-40g Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 150ml White Wine
- Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (optional)
- Place a large pot of salted water onto boil ready for the pasta.
- Before we start the sauce, it's best to start softening the dried porcini mushrooms. Place the mushrooms into a small bowl or teacup and add boiled water - leave to sit and rehydrate for about 10 minutes while we prepare the sausage meat.
- Take your pork sausages and squeeze the sausagemeat out of the skins into a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of dried sage and a grinding of black pepper and mix with a spoon until evenly distributed.
- Take a large frying pan, place onto a high heat and and add a dash of oil. Using your fingers, or a teaspoon, take clumps of the sage sausage meat and drop into the oil to fry. Fry for 4-5 minutes until browned, ensuring they don't stick or burn.
- Once the sausage meat has browned, add a tablespoon of butter to melt into the pan. Tip in the porcini mushrooms, reserving the dark soaking liquid left behind. Stir through the butter and leave to cook on a low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the pasta to the now boiling water and cook as per the packet instructions.
- Once the pasta is cooked, strain into a colander, and add immediately into the sausage and mushroom sauce and roughly stir through to coat. Finish with a good grating of Pecorino Romano cheese and eat it from the pan if you must. I would understand.