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Sausage Cavatelli


  • 2 dried red chilies
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme (15g)
  • 4-5 sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 large higher-welfare quality spicy sausage
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup southern Italian white wine or vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400 g tin of quality plum tomatoes
  • 40 g pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • chives for garnish


  • Place a large frying pan on a medium heat with 3 tablespoons of oil.
  • Remove the stalks and seeds from the chilli and dried roasted red pepper, tear into flakes and add to the pan.
  • Strip in the thyme leaves, rip the sage leaves into pieces, and fry for 30 seconds, or until crisp, then spoon out and save for later, leaving the pan on the heat.
  • Add the sausagemeat and mash it up.
  • Add the minced shallot and garlic and the paprika, then fry gently for 15 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the wine (or stock), cook away, then crush the tomatoes in with your hand.
  • Season and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for 4 minutes, or until tender, then drain, reserving a mugful of starchy cooking water.
  • Toss with the sauce, finely grate over most of the pecorino and toss again, loosening with a splash of reserved cooking water, if needed.
  • Sprinkle the chilli pepper mix and chopped chives over the pasta, and finely grate over the remaining pecorino, to finish.