VEGANS! AVERT YOUR EYES! There will be meat in this post.
Most people say that bacon is the “gateway meat.” I totally disagree. I don’t much care for bacon and can totally live without it. Sausage, especially Italian sausage, is proving to be a much harder impediment to returning to my meat-free days. And what follows is one of my most favorite sausage dishes ever.
It’s from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s wonderful Italian regional cookbook, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy, and more specifically, it hails from Sardinia. I love southern Italian food. There is a lot of meat and seafood in this book, so I haven’t actually cooked much from it, except to make this particular dish repeatedly. It’s easy to make, or rather, the sauce is easy–I actually haven’t yet undertaken the project the sauce is just a part of–but it does take a while to simmer down, thicken up, and build it’s flavor. I don’t really recommend it as a weekday dish, but that is what happened this week at my house. I couldn’t make it on Sunday when we bought the sausage, which is what I would normally do, and I didn’t want to freeze it.
So WHAT IS THIS DISH?
Linking directly toe Lidia’s very own recipe, it is Malloreddus with Sausage-Tomato Sauce I have never made the malloreddus, but I hope to try it someday.
I’m not going to explain what I did to make it because Lidia’s recipes are incredibly easy to follow and I simply followed hers (which is above in that link). I mean, for the sauce. If I ever make the malloreddus, I’ll probably offer my thoughts on it.
Making the sauce does, however, require you to get your hands dirty. You need to squeeze white wine into the ground sausage, and you need to smash whole peeled tomatoes by hand. Sometimes they squirt juice like clams, so be prepared to stain your clothes or wipe down cabinets (or ceilings!) if you are not careful enough.
Since I don’t make the malloreddus, we usually make do with rigatoni, which is a favorite pasta at our house. I think it goes well with the sauce because it picks up the chunks of sausage nicely.
Since it takes a while to simmer down, you have plenty of time to make a green salad and warm up bread. I was lazy last night and didn’t make a salad, but I did warm up homemade bread that I had made on Sunday, I think, sorry…I already forgot. In any case, I did not bake it last night, which means it was not quite stale and perfect for soaking up sauce.