Pity the poor sun-dried tomato. It's the Victoria Principal of food. Huge in the early and mid-'80s, all but forgotten today. Like V.P. on Dallas (and isn't she hot-t-t in her leotard and leg warmers in this clip!), the sun-dried was huge on prime time dinner plates, now relegated to second tier appetizers, the Hollywood Squares of dining. Well, we decided to bring her...um, I mean them...back to prominence thanks to inspiration from Mario. You know Mario...the man who did the seemingly impossible by making it seem acceptable to wear orange clogs with white socks and shorts while touring über-fashionable Italy. WITH a ponytail no less, in a last, desperate attempt to make us believe that he isn't really THAT bald. Hey, go for it, dude!
Anyway, enough '70s TV drama rehash and celebrity chef character assassination. I consulted Molto Mario's cookbook, coincidentally titled Molto Mario, when I was in need of a new pasta fix, and both w and I were loving this killer mix of fresh tagliatelle with sausage, basil and the poor, neglected sun-dried, shaking off its kitchen cliché status and given a second chance in the limelight. As with most good pasta dishes this was incredible easy to throw together, the sausage, sun-dried tomatoes and basil matching up perfectly, lightly dressing the pasta. Fab stuff. Grab your Dallas DVD, feather your hair back in the perfect 1978 coif, load up a plate of this deliciousness, and be like, so 30 years ago!
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Tagliatelle with Sausage, Basil, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
adapted from Molto Mario
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
6 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 to 1-1/4 pounds fresh tagliatelle
12 fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving with pasta.
1.Bring large pot of water to boil, add 2 tablespoons salt
2.Meanwhile, in a large 10" or 12" sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and cook until lightly golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring, until the sausage is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Drain the fat from the pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons, then stir in the tomato paste and wine and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3.Drop the tagliatelle into the boiling water and cook until tender (with fresh pasta, this usually takes 2-3 minutes). Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sun-dried tomatoes. Return to the heat, toss in the basil, stir gently for about 30 seconds. Serve immediately with grated Parmagiano.