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Dinner Tonight: Sardinian Sausage Sauce

A love affair with pasta and tomato sauce is lifelong, and new variations are always intriguing. My summer staple is a simple marinated fresh tomato sauce, which never sees a lick of heat except the gentle heat of the pasta. I'm also in love with spaghetti all'amatriciana, a distant cousin of pasta carbonara made with onion, chili, guanciale or pancetta, and of course, tomato. Yet I'd never seen the following recipe, billed as a Sardinian specialty, from a place where sausage and saffron are often used in recipes.

The saffron adds its unmistakable aroma and mellow earthiness that complements the tomatoes well; spicy chili flakes and fresh herbs give it a warmth and freshness. Normally I'd hesitate to use saffron in anything other than a paella or risotto alla Milanese, where its flavor is front and center (the stuff is pretty expensive). But Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman hardly ever miss; this recipe is adapted from their book Pasta Fresca. Other than doubling the amount of meat called for, I wouldn't change a thing.

Sardinian Sausage Sauce

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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