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Pasta Shells with Spicy Sausage and Tomato Sauce
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For this you'll need spicy Italian sausage or any good quality sausage that's mostly meat with little filler.
For a quick carbonara, sauté cubed pancetta in a little butter for a couple of minutes until frazzled. Stir into hot penne, with a dash of virgin olive oil. Crack in an egg and stir into the hot pasta, along with some parmesan. Serve with more parmesan.
Cook shredded savoy cabbage in boiling salted water until tender. Meanwhile, sauté a thinly sliced onion in olive oil. Remove the cabbage and add to the onion. Turn the heat off and put a lid on to keep it warm. Boil some fusilli in the cabbage water, then drain and toss with the cabbage and onion, some strips of smoked ham, a handful of grated pecorino and some olive oil. Season and serve.
In a food processor, whiz half an onion, some garlic, chilli, salt, pepper and herbs until finely chopped. Mix in some minced beef. Shape into walnut-sized balls and sauté gently in a large pan until they're cooked through. Add a generous amount of passata and simmer. Serve the meatballs on spaghetti.
Frazzle some chopped smoked streaky bacon in a frying pan along with some sliced onion and garlic, then add canned tomatoes and black olives. Simmer while you cook some penne, then season and serve.
This recipe was first published in April 2002.