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Italian Wedding Pasta: A Flavorful and Hearty Dish Inspired by Tradition

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Italian Wedding Pasta, also known as “Pasta di Matrimonio” in Italian, is a comforting and savory dish that combines tender pasta with flavorful Italian sausage, spinach, and a creamy tomato sauce. This dish is reminiscent of traditional Italian wedding soups, featuring ingredients that symbolize prosperity and happiness. Let’s explore how to make Italian Wedding Pasta with a recipe that captures the essence of this hearty and satisfying dish.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz pasta (such as fusilli, penne, or farfalle)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish

Instructions:

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Brown the Italian Sausage

  1. In a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the Italian sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside, leaving any drippings in the pan.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

  1. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to reduce slightly.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the heavy cream. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly.

Step 4: Combine Pasta and Sauce

  1. Add the cooked Italian sausage and drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Toss well to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce.
  2. Stir in the fresh spinach leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach wilts.

Step 5: Finish and Serve

  1. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Garnish with chopped fresh basil leaves before serving.

Tips for Success:

  • Italian Sausage: Use sweet or spicy Italian sausage according to your preference. Removing the casings allows the sausage to crumble easily while cooking.
  • Spinach: Fresh spinach adds a vibrant color and texture to the dish. Baby spinach leaves can be used as an alternative.
  • Creamy Sauce: The combination of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and heavy cream creates a rich and creamy sauce that complements the pasta and sausage perfectly.

Serving Suggestions:

Italian Wedding Pasta is best served immediately, garnished with fresh basil leaves for a burst of herbal freshness. Pair it with a glass of red wine such as Chianti or Sangiovese to complement the robust flavors of the dish. Serve alongside a crisp green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette for a complete meal that satisfies both the palate and the senses.

Conclusion:

Italian Wedding Pasta is a comforting and flavorful dish that brings together the richness of Italian sausage, the freshness of spinach, and the creaminess of a tomato-based sauce. With its hearty ingredients and comforting flavors, this dish is perfect for family gatherings, special occasions, or cozy weeknight dinners. Embrace the tradition of Italian cuisine with Italian Wedding Pasta and enjoy a delicious meal that celebrates the joys of good food and good company.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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