Okay, before I start going on and on and on about this recipe and how much I love it (and I do!), first I have to go a little about the plate it’s on. So first let me show you the plate before it was covered in Italian pasta wonderfulness.
This plate is part of my ever-growing collection of pottery from Nicholas Mosse. It all started with one mug that my mother brought me back from Ireland, and it has grown from there. Mug, plates, bowls, candlesticks, platters, you name it. It’s taking over my house, and I love it. But this particular plate is my favorite. I have no idea why.
Nicholas Mosse has a studio in Kilkenny, Ireland…which my coincidence is not far from where my ancestral family home is. And by even FURTHER coincidence…it’s for sale! My ancestral home, not the Nicholas Mosse studio.
It’s tempting. It’s very tempting. However, I keep pausing on the fact that the real estate description refers to a “ruined castle” on the premises, and I’m almost positive the place doesn’t have central heating. Or DirectTV.
But getting back to the point, which is this lucious Italian dish that has nothing to do with Irish plates or castles or dogs, and everything to do with fresh mozzarella, tangy sausage and tomatoes, all cooked up and tossed with penne, or ziti, or whatever you happen to have handy in your cupboard. It’s hearty and warm and satisfying and scrumptious, and you NEED to have this in your rotation of recipes for the chilly winter months ahead, on whatever your favorite plates are.
Now how’s that for a rambling, stream of consciousness post? Here’s the recipe!
- Olive oil
- 4 ounces soppressata or other hard sausage, cut into ¼ inch dice
- 6 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼ inch slices (your deli counter will do this for you) and then cut into ¼ inch dice
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ cup basil leaves, chopped
- Two 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained
- Salt and pepper
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 pound of ziti, penne or other small tube pasta
- 14 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into one inch dice
- Coat the bottom of a 12 inch frying pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add sausage, pancetta and pepper and cook until lightly browned, adding the parsley near the end.
- Raise the heat to medium high and add garlic and basil and cook for one more minute.
- Pour the whole tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands. Add them to the pan and boil them uncovered for about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in diced tomatoes and cook one more minute. Remove from heat and cover the pan.
- Cook the pasta until it is two minutes from being done. Drain and add it to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Stir over medium heat for a few minutes until pasta is done.
- Fold in mozzarella and serve at once on your favorite plate.