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A teal ceramic plate holds a mound of reddish-purple pasta coated in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with fresh herbs. In the background, we can see a hand holding the plate.

Nero D’Avola Tagliolini with Porcini Mushrooms, Sicilian Sausage, and Goat Cheese

Recipe and photos by Alessandra Lauria


It’s no secret that beets can be used to color pasta red or purple, but did you know that you can also use red wine?

Contributor Alessandra Lauria shares her recipe for Nero d’Avola tagliolini, served with porcini mushrooms, Sicilian sausage, and creamy goat cheese.

With regional ingredients like Nero d’Avola wine and Sicilian sausage, this dish speaks to Alessandra’s Sicilian roots, but it can easily be adapted to ingredients you have no matter where you live. Can’t find porcini mushrooms? Sub them out for shitake, for a similar meaty bite that packs plenty of flavor. Sicilian sausage, which is typically flavored with fennel and garlic, may be replaced with sweet Italian sausage. As for the wine, if you can’t source a good Nero d’Avola – a full-bodied red from Sicilia – choose something with a similar boldness like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, or Syrah.

Nero D’Avola Tagliolini with Porcini Mushrooms, Sicilian Sausage, and Goat Cheese

2 servings

Prep time: 50 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes

Special Equipment

  • Kitchen scale (optional, but helpful)
  • Rolling pin for pasta
  • Pasta knife (optional but helpful)

Ingredients

For the red wine pasta dough:
266 milliliters Nero D’Avola
250 grams semola rimacinata
Approximately 50 milliliters water

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
⅓ pound (150 grams) Sicilian sausage, casing removed (alternatively, sweet Italian sausage may be used)
A splash of Nero D’Avola wine
¼ pound (100 grams) porcini mushrooms (if you can’t find them, any other good quality mushroom may be used)
1½ tablespoons (20 grams) unsalted butter
1.7 ounces (50 grams) soft goat cheese
Mix of fresh herbs, to taste
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, q.b.

Method

To make the red wine pasta:

Add the wine to a small pot. Simmer on low heat until the wine has reduced to a little more than half. You should have about 110 milliliters after reducing.

Mix the wine together with the semola and add the water, a little bit at a time, just until the dough starts to come together. Knead the dough, until it’s smooth and uniform in color, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough in a ceramic bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Once the dough has rested, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large circle, about 1-mm thick. Use a pasta knife or large chef’s knife to cut the sheet into 3-cm wide ribbons.

*Alternatively, to use a pasta machine, divide the dough into quarters, roll each quarter through the machine to form 1-mm thick pasta sheets.

Dust the tagliolini with flour before forming into nests. Set aside on a tray until ready to cook. If not cooking immediately, store pasta in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

To prepare the sauce & assemble the dish:

In a non-stick medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sausage, letting it cook for a few minutes while breaking it up in the pan. Once the sausage is no longer pink, add in the splash of wine and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil and generously add salt. Gently drop in the taglioni and let the pasta cook for 2 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water. Add the tagliolini to the saucepan together with the sausage and mushrooms. Stir in the butter, cheese, and a splash of pasta water. Mix together until the sauce has thickened and the tagliolini are well coated. If the sauce seems too thick or dry, add a splash more of pasta water until it is a creamy consistency.

Divide the pasta among plates and serve with a sprinkling of fresh, chopped herbs of your choice.

If you want to learn the secrets and tips about how to make semolina flour and water pasta, understanding the perfect dough consistency, head to Alessandra’s website and learn more about her pasta courses here.

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