My mortadella has a second name, it’s B-o-l-o-g-n-a. I was recently in Bologna, the home of mortadella, and I can assure that the real Mortadella Bologna has very little to do with its American namesake – bologna, (aka, baloney). (It hurts even to write that word, much less compare it to the original.)
Two very trustworthy Roman friends (a chef and a hotelier) both independently told me that I needed to eat at Osteria Santa Caterina while in Bologna. I arrived in town, dropped my bag, and made a b-line for Via Santa Caterina. First came the mortadella, hand crafted and cut prosciutto-thin. Then came the tortellini, stuffed with mortadella. Da morire, as they say, “to die for.”
Naturally, I returned for dinner. Handmade pasta in a ragu di salsiccia in bianco, sausage ragu, slow-cooked for two hours. The owners kindly gave me their recipe, which I kindly pass on to you. Da morire.
Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.Print
Sunday Pasta®: Ragu di Salsiccia in Bianco
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- 1 pound casarecci (or penne)
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage, de-cased
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 bouillon vegetable stock
- A pinch of saffron
- 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion until translucent in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook until pink has faded. Add the wine, vegetable cube (dissolved in a cup of water), salt, and pepper.
- Reduce to low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring regularly. When only a few minutes of cooking time remain, dissolve the saffron in 1/2 cup water and add to sausage mixture.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
- Add the pasta to the sausage mixture, and then mix in rosemary. Add some cooking water if it seems dry. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano.