This traditional Sardinian sausage sauce, known locally as Ragu “alla Campidanese”, is generally paired with malloreddus, also called gnocchetti Sardi (or ‘small Sardinian gnocchi’). That being said, the fennel-rich, flavoursome morsels of sausage present in the ragù pair perfectly with thick ribbons of fresh pappardelle. We also find that using egg pasta here makes for an even more sumptuous dish, further justifying this unorthodox pasta pairing.
This classic sauce blends aromatic fennel sausage with even more fresh fennel seeds - “finocchio” in Italian - and bright tomatoes, for a simple, fresh yet meaty ragù - an (albeit unconventional) taste of summer in Sardinia.
Pappardelle with Sausage Ragu “alla Campidanese”
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 602kcal
- 400g fresh pappardelle (for ingredients, see our simple pappardelle guide)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 400g passata
- 400g pork sausage meat (ideally Sardinian style pork and fennel sausage, though the ‘Italian style’ sausage that is common in most supermarkets will typically include fennel)
- 1 tbsp fennel seed
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Begin by preparing your fresh pappardelle, following our easy fresh pappardelle tutorial:
- Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan, over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and fry until soft and translucent.
- Increase the heat slightly, before adding the pork sausage. Brown the sausage in the pan, ensuring to break the meat into small pieces. Once browned, return the heat to medium.
- Add the passata, fennel seeds, salt, and black pepper, and simmer until the sausage is fully cooked. Allow the mixture to thicken - this will take around 15-20 minutes.
- Towards the end of this time, cook the pappardelle in salted boiling water, for around 3-4 minutes or until al dente (test a strand before removing from the water).
- Strain the pasta, reserving a tablespoon or so of the starchy cooking water. Toss the sauce, pasta, cooking water, and Parmigiano Reggiano together in the pan, until the pasta is completely coated. Plate and serve - buon appetito.
For more delicious sausage pasta sauces, be sure to check out our 4 Gourmet Italian Sausage Pasta Recipes. Don’t forget to share your creations and tag us on social media with #pastaevangelists. Let us know what you thought of this recipe by leaving a comment below.
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