the appetizer:

Though there are many individual regional cuisines in Italy, northern and southern Italian cuisines are primarily differentiated by the cooking fat and style of pasta commonly used. Northern Italian cuisine (other than on the coast) favors butter, cream, polenta, Mascarpone, Grana Padano, and Parmigiano cheeses, risotto and fresh egg pasta. Southern Italian cuisine tends toward Mozzarella, Caciocavallo and Pecorino cheeses, olive oil and dried pasta. Southern Italian cuisine also makes greater use of the ubiquitous tomato.

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Pasta with Sausage (Pasta alla Campidanese)

1/2 cup olive oil
4 Italian sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, chopped
2 bay leaves
Pinch of ground saffron
Salt, pepper
1 pound Tagliatelle
Parmigiana Reggiano

Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Add garlic to remaining oil and stir for 1 minute. Add chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, and saffron. Cook for 10 minutes. Return sausage to the saucepan and cook for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook tagliatelle in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, then add to saucepan. Stir gently to coat pasta. To serve, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.


Italian Recipes

Pasta, Risotto & You (with recipes)

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This page modified January 2007