The moment I did a preview of the photos on this post, I knew I had forgotten to add something to the pasta. Peas! That's what was missing! It would have added such a nice pop of vibrant green to the dish. Well, at least I didn't forget the parsley, for both flavour and colour. It's been a while since I last cooked pasta, and when I do, it's usually a spaghettini with bacon and mushrooms in a creamy lemon butter sauce. I can't help it. Those are all my favourite ingredients and it's the only way I know how to incorporate them all in one delicious meal. Well, up until two days ago when I made this super delicious pasta (I used bowtie or farfalle) with pork and fennel sausages, mushrooms, pancetta in a creamy tomato sauce. It was an absolute hit with everyone in the family (even my picky toddler, who often scoffs at any food I place in front of him, was too happy to finish his bowl of "butterflies" -that's what I told him they were).
I've used farfalle here, but you can easily substitute with penne or any other pasta you like. It's a really easy dish to make, and one that you can quickly get to the dining table on a busy weeknight. I used Italian sausages which I bought from Woolworths, and these were basically labelled as gourmet pork sausages with fennel and Italian herbs. They worked really well in this dish and tasted really good too. As for the rosa sauce, it was a combination of tomato passata (or tomato puree), butter, thyme, lemon juice and cream. A rosa sauce is essentially a combination of a tomato sauce with a touch of cream. The cream helps to mellow out some of the acidity from the tomatoes to yield a sweet and velvety pink sauce that is just perfectly balanced. I added mushrooms to the dish, but I forgot the peas. Both are optional, but if you like peas and mushrooms (or even zucchini, capsicum or any other vegetables you may have lying around), then throw them in. We just love, love this pasta and that delicious creamy sauce!
Farfalle with Sausage, Pancetta and Mushrooms in a Rosa Sauce
350g dried farfalle / bowtie pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, finely diced
100g (3.5oz) pancetta, chopped
300g Italian style pork sausages, casings removed
250g (9oz) button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
700g (25oz) tomato passata (or tomato puree)
1/4 cup green peas
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup thickened / heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until al dente.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat and fry the garlic, followed by the onions and pancetta. Fry for 5 minutes until onions are softened.
- Add the sausage meat and use a spatula to break it up in the pan. Fry for 3 minutes, then add mushrooms and fry for another minute.
- Add thyme and passata, and bring to a boil. Add peas and gently simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in butter. lemon juice and cream and simmer again for 5 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat.
- Drain the cooked pasta and add to the sauce in the pan. Mix well to combine. Transfer to individual serving plates, sprinkle with grated parmesan and chopped parsley, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!