Salsiccie e Porcini

Sausages with dried mushrooms and hazelnuts, a very delicious winter pasta dinner inspired by Cuisine Magazine [issue 177, p94], and with thanks to Olivia Andrews. This is probably the easiest way of making meatballs that you will ever get. I should note also that although the original recipe specified either pecorino or parmesan cheese, I used Fiore Sardo, which is a Sardinian version of pecorino and very tasty indeed. The Mediterranean Foods shop down the road had little wedges of it for sale on the day.


½ cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted.

¼ cup finely chopped parsley.

2 sprigs rosemary, leaves finely chopped.

1/3 cup grated cheese [e.g. pecorino or parmesan].

2 portobello mushrooms, 80-100mm, diced.

1 medium onion, peeled, finely chopped.

3 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped.

15g porcini.

4 Italian sausages, casings removed.

3 cups short pasta, e.g. spirals or penne.

½ cup olive oil.

Dash cayenne pepper.

Salt to taste.

½ cup Marsala.


Mix the nuts, herbs and grated cheese together in a small bowl and set aside. Prepare the mushrooms, onion and garlic, place together in a small bowl and set aside. Place the porcini in a large coffee mug and add 200ml boiling water. Allow 15 minutes to steep, then chop the porcini with a pair of scissors while still in the mug. Set aside. Remove the casings from the sausages and form the meat into small balls. Set aside.


Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Stir well and cook as per the instructions on the packet [usually about 7-8 minutes].

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium flame. Fry the meatballs until golden all over and cooked through [7-8 minutes]. Remove and set aside. Increase the heat a little and add the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Add the salt and cayenne pepper. Stir fry until the onion is soft [about 3-4 minutes], then return the meatballs to the pan and add the Masala.

Allow to cook, stirring frequently, until the liquor is reduced by half. Drain the pasta and add to the meatball mixture together with the porcini, and the porcini liquor. Heat through, stirring well to combine, and spoon into heated plates. Sprinkle with the hazelnut mixture and serve immediately.

Serves: 2.


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