Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Casarecce with Asparagus, Sausage & Ricotta

Casarecce is a fairly new pasta shape for me: basically short lengths of pasta that have been rolled across their width, with each side rolled in the opposite direction. The rolled length is then slightly twisted so that the pasta is in the shape of a "S" when viewed from the end.

You could however use any short pasta for this - the original recipe (I can’t, unfortunately, remember where that was) that I adapted for instance called for gemelli. Similarly any spicy sausage could be used too - I used sausages that have been seasoned in a Chorizo style rather than actual cooking chorizo and they worked very well.

Casarecce with Asparagus, Sausage & Ricotta 
serves 2

100g thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 in lengths
150g casarecce
130-150g chorizo style sausages (2 fat sausages), removed from skins & “crumbled”
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp double cream
95g ricotta
15g Parmesan, finely grated
4 basil leaves (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the asparagus. Cook for a few minutes until just tender then remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into iced water to stop cooking and refresh.

Bring the water to a boil again, add the pasta and cook according to packet directions.

Meanwhile heat a large sauté or frying pan and cook the sausage and onion until the meat is browned and the onions softened. Drain any fat that has rendered from the sausages and add the asparagus, cream, and a small pinch of salt and simmer for 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving some cooking water, and add the pasta to the sauté pan along with the ricotta, a good grind of black pepper and 2-3 tbsp of the reserved pasta water.

Stir around carefully so that everything is mixed well.

Add the Parmesan and stir again then serve immediately garnished with the basil leaves.

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