This is one of my family’s favourite pasta sauces! The first time I have eaten this dish was many years ago, at some family friends’ house in Sicily. Their names are Giovanni and Giovanna. It is a very earthy pasta dish and my girls love it. Do not worry about the Brandy/Cognac shot… the alcohol evaporates while cooking, so it is completely safe for children to eat! It is actually a great way to make fussy kids eat carrots… I know it works well with my 3 year old! It is a dish the whole family will enjoy!
Ingredients for 4 – 5 persons:
300 gms of Italian style sausage with fennel seeds (you should be able to get this at your local deli)
2 tins (800 gms) of diced tomatoes
3 medium carrots
1 medium onion
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 standard shot of Brandy/Cognac
100 ml of cream
1 cup of water
Salt & pepper to taste (depending on the sausage you may need more or less salt)
400 gms of penne rigate pasta
Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano – very finely grated, to serve
Clean and finely chop the onion and carrots and cook them with the 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on a medium fire until they are soft.
Remove the sausage from the skin and chop it coarsely.
Then add it to the onion and carrots and mash it with a wooden spoon. When the sausage has browned, add the diced tomatoes, 1 cup of water, a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low fire for approximately 1 hour (when the sauce thickens it is ready).
Add the Brandy/Cognac and cook uncovered on a high flame for 2 minutes. Then lower the flame, add the cream, bring it back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Check for salt.
In the meantime, cook the penne pasta following the steps on How to cook your pasta “al dente” in the Techniques page of this site. Serve with the sausage sauce and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the top.