3 quarts water (salt optional)
? pound Italian sausage
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
º teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 ? pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
º teaspoon salt
1 pound pasta – penne, pennette or rigatoni
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot with or without the optional salt.
2. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil just enough water to cover the sausages. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Take the sausage out of the hot water and place it in a bowl of cold water. When cool enough to handle, dry it with a towel, cut into thin slices and set aside.
3. Pour the olive oil into a large sautÈ pan set on medium heat and cook the garlic and red pepper flakes for 3 minutes. Add the sliced sausage and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, tossing well, until the sausage starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and salt, toss and cook until the sausage well browned, about 5 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over medium heat.
4. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until just tender. Drain well, return to the pot and add the sauce a little at a time along with the basil, tossing well to coat the pasta with the sauce. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
Parboiling the sausage, as Nick Stellino does in Step 2, makes it a bit leaner, as most of the fat renders out into the boiling water. You can skip that step if you prefer.
Pasta alla Nanci (Pasta w
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