Pappardelle with Hot Sausage Sauce


From Rao's in NYC, thick sausage-and-tomato sauce accompanies pappardelle. Tossing the cooked pasta with sauce over medium-high heat enables the pasta to absorb some of the sauce's rich flavor.


  • 6 hot or sweet Italian sausages

  • ¼ cup best-quality olive oil

  • ¾ cup chopped onion

  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine

  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) imported San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes, hand crushed

  • Salt, to taste

  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn

  • 1 pinch dried oregano

  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more to taste, if desired


  1. Remove casings from sausages, break meat up into chunks, and set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until just translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved sausage meat, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain off excess fat

  3. Add wine, and stir to combine. Raise heat, and bring to a boil. Boil until liquid has reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add tomatoes and salt. Return to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Stir in basil, oregano, and pepper; add additional salt and pepper.

  5. While sauce is simmering, cook the pappardelle in a large, deep pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (check package for exact cooking time). Drain.

  6. Return drained pappardelle to the pot, and place over medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in 1/2 cup of sausage sauce, and toss together for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and pour into a large serving platter or bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano cheese. Top with additional cheese, if desired, and serve.

Cook's Notes

If you prefer, you can substitute sweet sausage for the spicy sausage that Frank Pellegrino uses in this recipe.

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