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Orecchiette with Sardinian Sausage Ragu (Fast & Slow)
40 minutes 20 minutes active
Saffron gives this simple Sardinian ragu lots of character. The spice’s unique, vaguely floral, slightly minerally flavor pairs beautifully with the sausage, tomatoes and salty pecorino. But since saffron can be expensive, we’ve kept it optional. Even without, the dish is delicious. Our favorite pasta for this recipe is orecchiette, a small saucer-shaped noodle that does an excellent job of catching the bits of sausage. Small shells work well, too, or any other small pasta that cooks in about 10 minutes (check the package for the recommended cooking time).
medium garlic cloves, chopped
01In a 6-quart Instant Pot, combine the oil and garlic. Select Normal/Medium Sauté and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and saffron, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2¾ cups water, the tomato puree, pasta, sausage and 1½ teaspoons salt, breaking up any pieces of pasta that stick together, then distribute in an even layer.
This is fairly simple to make and is my favorite Milk Street recipe. My only tricky bit is to lift my sauce up and into my pasta pot without spilling it. I make this at least once a month. I started with purchased sausage, and it's perfectly fine that way, and still truly delicious. But I now make my own bulk sausage to make it just a bit more special. One warning is that it's the fresh basil that makes this dish really come alive. So, if someone substitutes with dried basil, I'm just a bit skeptical what the reaction to the dish would be, then.
My one tip would be to buy a bulk Italian sausage and not to have to worry about taking off the casings.
This was really easy to make, more or less. The Instant Pot kept insisting things were burning. However, where I think the flavor of the stovetop version was FANTASTIC, this one seemed weak to me, with regard to flavor. That plus the issues with the Instant Pot "burning" and I'm returning to the stovetop. It's not really a hard dish to make on the stovetop, either, and I just liked the results, a lot better.
Here in the pressure cooker, the sausage did cook, so that didn't seem to be a problem.
You don’t brown the sausage at any stage? I just goes in raw and comes out tasting ok?