Italian Sausage and Mushroom Tortiglioni

The beauty of Italian cooking is the simplicity of its ingredients, provided they are high quality. This quick and easy recipe features staples in Italian cuisine, such as Parmigiano Reggiano, pasta, pork sausages, garlic and parsley. It’s important to use Italian sausages. They have a coarser texture than British ones. They’re the key to a delicious outcome so no bangers, capish?

You can buy Italian sausages in supermarkets, just look for a specific description on the packaging. However, your best bet is the Italian delicatessen. I found black truffle sausages at Signorelli’s Deli in Cambridge, which complemented the earthy mushroom flavours in this dish. I even enhanced the recipe with a few drops of truffle oil. However, if truffles aren’t your thing, there are sausages with chilli, garlic or fennel… even plain ones. Anything goes really, as long as they are Italiano!

This dish is best with a short, sturdy pasta such as rigatoni, tortiglioni or penne. Use your favourite variety of mushrooms or a mix of them, such as button, chestnut and cremini. For a more intense flavour, add a small amount of porcini mushrooms to the mix.

500g tortiglioni, rigatoni or penne
3 tbsps olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
250g mushrooms, thickly sliced
250g Italian pork sausages, casings removed
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
25g unsalted butter
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste

Boil salted water in a large pot. When it’s at a rolling boil, add the tortiglioni and cook as per package directions but aim for the shorter cooking time so the pasta is al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick, deep frying pan large enough to hold the pasta once cooked. Brown the garlic to flavour the olive oil, then discard the clove.

Add the mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausages (with the casings removed) directly into the pan.

Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Keep stirring the mushrooms and sausages over medium-high heat until they are both cooked, approximately 10 minutes.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and transfer it immediately to the large frying pan. Over low heat, add the butter to the pasta and stir all the ingredients until they are well mixed.

Spoon into plates or bowls and top with some grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Buon appetito!

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