A salad, some crusty bread, and wine are all that's needed with this hearty pasta dish. For the wine, consider serving a bottle of Chianti or Sangiovese.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice with Italian seasonings
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 3/4 pound fettuccine
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- optional additions: fresh basil, saffron, fennel
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausages and saute until no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices, sage and crushed red pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Return pasta to same pot; add sauce. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Yield: 6 servings