Gemelli Con Sofritto, Ceci and Sausage
This is a true BBTK original recipe. Mike came up with it one night as we were scanning the fridge for dinner ideas. It most likely originated after a weekend of making soup. I’m sure he wanted to use up the carrots and celery while they were fresh. We probably had a few links of sausage left in the package after a weekend worth of dippy eggs so it was a convenient protein option. And that’s how a recipe is born in our tiny kitchen. It’s such a simple combination of ingredients but it was so tasty and flavorful. I was blown away and probably ate too much of it.
Note: The sausage is a key component to the flavor so be sure to select a quality brand. We generally use Premio or Pat LaFreida. Mom uses Botta but we can’t find that in our neighborhood. Use the best option available to you.
- 1 box (12oz) of pasta – We used Gemelli
- 1 (12 oz) can Ceci/Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans, drained
- 2- 3 links hot Italian Sausage
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 1 large onion (yellow or white), finely chopped
- 1 – 1.5 large celery stalks, finely chopped
- Olive Oil
- White cooking wine
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into a few large chunks
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh chopped parsley
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for topping
- Crusty Italian bread
- Heat 5 quarts of salted water on high for the pasta.
- Slice sausage in half longways and broil in the broiler or toaster oven. Turn 2-3 times while cooking. Broil until browned and cooked through – about 10-12 min.
- While the water is heating, begin the sofritto which is the onions, carrots and celery preparation.
- First in a large skillet, heat olive oil and then sauté garlic over med-high heat until lightly browned. Discard garlic.
- Next, add onions and begin to sauté over medium heat. Add a dash of salt.
- Then, as soon as onions begin to release moisture and become translucent, add carrots and celery. Reduce heat slightly and stir occasionally.
- After about 5 minutes, vegetables (sofritto) should begin to soften.
- Add the chick peas and white wine. Continue over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until alcohol cooks off.
- Pasta can be dropped around the time the chick peas are added. Cook until just barely al dente (about 8-9 min.) pasta will finish in the skillet.
- When sausage is done, remove from broiler and slice into small chunks and add to skillet mixture.
- When pasta is ready, first reserve about 1-1 1/2 cups of pasta water to add to the sauce in the skillet. Then strain the pasta and add to the skillet.
- Add about ½ cup of the pasta water and raise heat to medium-high.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Cook for about a minute, stirring frequently until the liquid reduces a bit and the pasta is done.
- Serve at the table in a large bowl. Top with fresh parsley. Note that the pasta will continue to absorb a bit of the sauce, so add a bit of pasta water as necessary to maintain consistency. It should be very moist, but not soupy.
- On the plate, top with grated Parmigiano.
- Serve with crusty Italian bread.