Pasta al Vino (with Sausage and Saffron)

My wife described this pasta last week, as we were testing the recipe, as “very feminine”… to me it means that this dish makes a perfect lunch!
As much as this sauce is rich in flavor, it is not an aggressive recipe for your palate, it has no kick, so to speak, but more a very round and politically correct aroma that you can feel on the back of your palate… you can smell it from the “inside”… balsamic, yes, that’s the right word. Never described a pasta dish as balsamic in my life though… I guess try the recipe and let me know if you understand what I mean.

Main ingredients of this recipe, aside from a good dry white wine (we used a Santa Margherita for this one), are pork sausages and fresh herbs.
I would recommend to cook with sausages that are not too spicy, or the aroma of the Saffron will suffer a bit: we now cook our Pasta al Vino using a combination of hot and mild pork sausages…. as a rule of thumb though, please avoid any fennel or anise seeds in your meat, otherwise your pasta instead of having a polite balsamic tone, it will attack your mouth with the violence of a nasty cough syrup!
Make sure you got a good playlist loaded in your iPod, crank the volume, fill a glass with some chilled white wine, wash your hands and let’s get going!


1/3 of an Onion
4 Pork Sausages
1 tbs Saffron
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
2 sprigs of Rosemary
1 abundant handful of fresh Sage
Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan for dressing

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 20 min


Slice the Onion very thin and set aside a handful of pieces from the outer layer, it will help give "dimension" to your plated dish.


Chop the rest of the onion very fine.


In about 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil saute' quickly the onion and then add the sausages without the casing; brake the meat in small pieces while it's sauteing.


When the meat starts browning, add Rosemary and Sage, and cook on a medium-high flame for about 3-5 minutes, then add the Wine and cook it until you cannot smell the alcohol anymore.


In a small pyrex bowl, heat in the microwave about 1/2 cup of tap water (you can use vegetable broth if you'd like), dissolve the Saffron in it and then add it to the sauce.


Reduce the flame to a low medium, and cook for a remaining 10 minutes; make sure you do not over cook it, as the liquid part of the sauce is what will stick to your pasta and give it such a distinctive Saffron flavor.


Remove the Rosemary sprigs and set aside.


In a pot of salted boiling water, cook your pasta of choice for about one minute less than indicated on the box, drain it in a colander and then, on a high flame, saute' it in the pan with the sauce for about a minute or so.


Serve dressed with some freshly grated Parmesan, sprinkle with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and if you'd like to add a fancy touch, place a piece of the Rosemary you set aside, on top or on the side of the plate.

Humbly accept the compliments of you guests/family... or pat yourself on the back if your dining solo!

Pour some wine in a glass and enjoy Spring!

Buon Appetito.

Debi and Gabriele