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Barilla's Casarecce Pasta with Italian Sausage, Pan-roasted Winter Vegetables in Ricotta Sauce & Salted Ricotta

by GMV - Got My Vote!' (follow)
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Pasta (23)      Sausage (4)      Italian (2)      Barilla (1)      Ricotta (1)     

Do you want to know the trade secret to cook authentic Italian pasta? Ever wondered why restaurant pasta have that little edge over your home-cooked pasta?

I attended Casa Barilla's hands-on Cooking School and Italian executive chef - Andre personally taught & demonstrated the tricks to recreate the perfect Italian pasta at home.

It is the difference that makes the difference.

For those who could not personally attend the class, here are my notes which can be applied to any pasta recipes :)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 servings

2 cups pasta
300g ricotta sauce
1 large Italian sausage
1/4 French onion
1/4 leek
100g pumpkin
50g parsnip
1 cup baby spinach salad
50g salted ricotta or Parmesan cheese
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, bring plenty of salted water to the boil.
Tip: the ideal ratio is approx 7g of salt to 1L of water.
Add pasta to the boiling water and give it a nice stir. Let it cook for approx 8 minutes (or according to the packet instruction).
Tip: Do not add olive oil to the boiling water. (Apparently some people do that).
Dice the onion, pumpkin, parsnip and leek.
Heat some olive oil in a hot fry pan.
Add onion and leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add in the pumpkin and parsnip and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: when the mixture looks dry, add some of the pasta's salted boiled water to the frypan.
Let the vegetables simmer for another minute or two.
Remove the skin from the Italian sausage.
Diced the sausage into small pieces.

Add the sausage pieces into the frypan.
Cook through the sausages before adding the ricotta sauce.

Let the sauce simmer for 3 minutes.
Drain the pasta from the pot and add into the frypan.
Tip: the pasta should be just a little under al-dente, as cooking in the frypan will achieve that perfect al-dente taste.
Tip: al-dente pasta should have a firm chewy texture when bite into it. Over-cooked pasta is bad for digestive system as people will overeat too quickly.

Add half of the grated salted ricotta to the pasta.
Cease fire.

Toss in the baby spinach salad.
Tip: the residual heat will blend the cheese, spinach nicely with the pasta.

Serve immediately with more grated salted ricotta on top.
Tip: Add a drizzle of premium extra virgin olive oil on top for the perfect Italian pasta finish.

It taste fantastic!
A good healthy recipe to try with the kids over the school holiday.

I like this Recipe - 3
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