Food and Drink: Gramigna with Sausage and Cream

Over the summer J and I spent three amazing weeks in Italy. When planning our trip three weeks felt like it would be an eternity -- but oh were we wrong!

We were lucky enough to visit: Venice,where we spent hours wandering through the tiny streets eventually ending up back in Piazza San Marco; Florence, where we spent the day exploring the Boboli Gardens; Verona, where we visited Juliet's house, feasted on local cheese and wine and took in opera at the Arena di Verona; and Calabria, where we swam in the Ionian sea.

However, my favourite part of our trip was the time we spent in Bologna. Bologna is as famous for it's culture and history as it is for it's cuisine. Situated in Emilia-Romagna, Italy's most famous foodie region, Bologna is a city full of life, charming streets and picturesque landscapes.
But let's talk about the food for a minute. During our time in Bologna, J and I eagerly participated in the city's ritual of daily aperitivo, devoured plates of crescentine and prosciutto and indulged in freshly made pastas typical of the region. And while Bologna is well know for tortellini and tagliatelle, my favourite pasta dish was Gramigna with sausage and cream rag├╣. The use of sausage instead of ground beef adds depth of flavour that works well with the richness of the cream.

You'll need:
  • 1 package of Gramigna pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of onion, chopped
  • 4 fresh sausages
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup of tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated 
Start by removing the casing from each sausage. In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage to the pan and stir, using a spatula to break up the larger pieces of sausage. Cook until lightly browned. Add the onions to the pan and cook until slightly softened. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook until the wine has reduced. 

Add the tomato puree, reduce the heat and allow the sauce to cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. You'll need to keep an eye on the sauce - if it reduces and thickens, add 1/4 cup of water. Next, add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the Gramigna according to package directions. Once the pasta is cooked add it to the sauce pan, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and toss. 

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