Pasta alla Norcina Recipe | Authentic Italian Sausage Pasta
This pasta dish has many variants, even in Italy. This is the original, though! While many cooks commonly make it with cream today, we believe the first iteration uses a much better alternative: ricotta!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 1 large Italian sausage
- 1/8 cup (30ml) dry white wine
- 5.5 oz. (160g) penne pasta
- 3/4 cup (200g) ricotta
- Grated pecorino cheese to taste
Put a medium pot of water on to boil. As it comes up to temp, begin the sauce.
Place the olive oil, garlic and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is tender and slightly transparent. Meanwhile, remove and discard the skin from the sausage.
Discard the garlic clove and add the sausage meat into the pan. Crush the sausage into a fine crumble as the meat cooks. Once the sausage is browned, add the wine and bring to a simmer.
Salt the boiling water generously and add the pasta. Set a timer for 3 minutes less than the recommended "al dente" cook time.
When the smell of alcohol has dissipated from the sauce, lower the heat and add the ricotta and a small ladleful of pasta water. Stir all together. Add grated pecorino to taste and stir that in as well. Finally, salt the sauce to taste. Be aware that the sausage will likely be heavily seasoned already so you may not need to add much!
Turn off the heat until the pasta has finished boiling.
When the pasta is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the sauce. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the pasta is al dente to your taste. You will likely need to add a little pasta water as you cook to maintain moisture in the pan.
Serve as soon as the pasta is al dente, and top with some extra grated cheese. Buon appetito!