A tasty, kitchen cupboard meal. These ingredients are usually knocking around in my kitchen or there will be something that I can substitute. Any kind of chorizo will work or you could try another highly flavoured, spicy sausage such as Calabrian nduja. To make a vegetarian version of this dish at stage one, saute a finely diced onion in some olive oil, add a tablespoon of hot smoked paprika and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic then continue on with the rest of the recipe. You can either keep the sauce chunky or put it through a food processor before mixing with the pasta.
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Step 1: Get Your Ingredients Together
200g cooking chorizo, nduja or other soft and spicy sausage
400g tinned tomatoes or passata
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese or creme fraiche or similar
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
sprinkle of dried chilli flakes (optional)
salt & pepper
200g dried pasta. I used pappardelle.
Step 2: Cook the Sausage
Heat a wide frying pan over a medium heat, squidge the sausage meat or of their casings directly into the pan so that you've got bite-sized pieces. Cook for around 3-4 minutes until crispy and golden and the spicy paprika oils have been released. Don't move around too much unless you want to it break down into much smaller pieces. You can drain the oil off if you wish but it seems a shame to loose so much of the flavour.
Step 3: Add Spices and Tomatoes
Add the fennel and chilli flakes and sizzle for a minute followed by the tomatoes to the pan and simmer the ingredients together for about 5 minutes before you put the pasta on, it should be starting to reduce by this stage. If the tomatoes are whole you will need to break them up a bit with the back of your spoon.
Step 4: Cook the Pasta
Cook your chosen pasta according to the packet instructions, mine took around 10 minutes.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
The tomato sauce is ready once it is no longer watery and has thickened up and is glistening with little pools of oil. Season to taste.
When the pasta is nearly ready stir the mascarpone into the tomato sauce and mix thoroughly. Once cooked, add in the pasta. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, add a little of the cooking water to thin it out. Serve and enjoy.
I had quite a lot of mascarpone left over after this dish so added it to my pumpkin soup today. Check out the recipe on my blog.