So the other evening, when we went to Mulinella, a restaurant here in Todi, for dinner, my step mother suggested I get the pasta with sausage. “It’s very very good.” The problem was that even though the weather was cool for the end of August, I still wasn’t in hearty-pasta-mode quite yet. In addition, I was actually making a half-hearted attempt to diet, and decided that I’d just completely skip the pasta course. Sophie and Domenico followed my example (if mommy thinks she needs to diet then we must all be in the same boat goes the thinking around here.)
And then the pasta came to the table.
Not only was the entire area filled with the heady perfume of marjoram, the pasta itself was just about the lightest and most delicate summery dish I could imagine. Thankfully my step mom took pity on us, and let us all have a taste. At which point we immediately ordered our own portion. (Just one. To share among the three of us. You know. The diet thing )
We were all still talking about the pasta the next day, and so Sophie decided to make it for lunch. The trick in this dish is that the sausage acts almost like a seasoning, rather than a full fledged ingredient. And rather than use a cooked tomato sauce like in most other sausage based sauces, here the cherry tomatoes are simply cut in half and added raw.
But what really sets the dish apart are the heaping quantities of marjoram. If you start thinking of the sausage as a seasoning, and the marjoram as the main ingredient, then you’re on the right track. Sophie also decided to add in a big bunch of arugula just because.
Unlike the night before, when we all had to share one little plate of this delicious pasta, Sophie was sure she made enough for everyone for lunch. In fact, she thought she was making enough to have leftovers the next day. No such luck. This time none of us held back.
pasta with sausage and marjoram
1 pound / 1/2 kilo of pasta
2 sausages, taken out of skins and crumbled
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh marjoram leaves
1 bunch arugula, roughly chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and add pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a frying pan and add the sausage. Stir to break up and let it cook for a few minutes until the fat comes out.
Add the onion, salt and pepper and continue cooking until the onions soften.
When pasta is done, drain, reserving a bit of the cooking water.
Put pasta in a large serving bowl and immediately add hot onion/sausage mixture and toss. Add the tomatoes, marjoram and arugula and toss again. If it seems too dry, add a bit of the cooking water and toss again.
Serve topped with grated parmigiano.
Many thanks to Mulinella for the inspiration
Localita Ponte Naia 29