It is so good to be me.

I know, I know…  It’s just not right to brag or gloat or any of that sort of stuff, but damn! it’s good to be me!  My stomach is smiling from here to the moon and back!

Victor was in the kitchen once again, working his way through the Pasta Issue of La Cucina Italiana.  This weeks gastronomic celebration was Malloreddus con Salsiccia, or Malloreddus with Sausage.

Malloreddus is a semolina pasta from Sardinia.  Sardinia, was occupied for several centuries by the Arabs after the fall of the Roman Empire, and one of the fun culinary differences from other parts of Italy is the locals acquired a taste for saffron.  It is often used both in the dough and in the accompanying sauce.

Malloreddus in not gnocchi, although they share a similar shape.  They have very different ingredients, textures, and flavors.

Malloreddus

  • Sea Salt
  • 1 ¼ cups semolina flour
  • ¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Gnocchi board or a table fork

Dissolve 1 tsp salt in ¾ cup warm water. In a large bowl whisk together semolina and all purpose flour; mound and form a well in the center.

Add water mixture and 2 tsp olive oil to the well. Using your hand or a fork, slowly incorporate flour from inside the rim of the well. Continue until liquid is absorbed, then knead in bowl until dough forms a complete mass (dough will be slightly sticky).

Transfer dough to a well floured work surface and knead, dusting with a bit more flour as needed just to keep dough from sticking to your hands, for 5 minutes. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.

Break off about 1/8 of the dough; tightly rewrap remaining dough. Roll dough into ½ inch cylinder, and cut into ¼ inch thick pieces. Pressing with your thumb, roll each piece on a gnocchi board (or down the back of a fork) to give it the characteristic ridges, and put on a floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

To cook fresh Malloreddus, bring a large pot of salted water to a bill. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 6 minutes after water returns to a boil. Drain, transfer to a large serving bowl and immediately toss with sauce and serve.

This is less than half of the pasta.  The rest went into the freezer!

Malloreddus con salsiccia – Malloreddus with sausage.

  • 1 lbs sweet or hot Italian sausage
  • Heaping 1/8 tsp crushed saffron threads
  • 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 (28 oz. can) whole peeled tomatoes with juices.
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 lbs fresh Malloreddus or dried from the store
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for serving

Remove sausage from casing, break meat apart a bit. Combine saffron and ¼ cup water in a small bowl

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat, add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. 5 to 6 minutes. Add sausage, and cook, breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, add wine, cook, breaking up tomatoes for 5 minutes. (Sometimes dump the tomatoes and juice in a large bowl and roughly break them up with my hands)

Add saffron mixture and ¼ tsp salt. Gently simmer sauce until thickened and flavorful, 45 to 50, minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 6 minutes for fresh Malloreddus). Meanwhile, gently warm sauce. When pasta is al dente, drain, transfer to a large bowl, immediately add sauce and toss to combine. Add cheese and toss once more. Serve immediately with extra cheese.

I made a loaf of Pane Pugliese from dough I had frozen a couple of weeks ago.  It was the perfect accompanyment to the perfect pasta dish.

While there are still lots of recipes in the magazine, we just received a copy of the latest Wegmans magazine – full of Italian Pasta Meals!

The Monday Pasta Extravaganza is going to going on for many many many more weeks to come!

It is so good to be me!

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