Pasta alla Silana

The name of this pasta came from mount Sila (Calabria), in the southernmost part of the Italian peninsula ("on the other side of Italy" from where I live).
I eated it in a restaurant when working for a very kind customer (they brought me out to eat in great places and also offered me a tour of the city center of Cosenza, a very nice place to visit). I didn't asked for the recipe, so this is a sample of cooking through reverse-engineering.
Remember that I'm not a professional cooker!

Ingredients (for 4 people):

  • Pasta (it's better to use bucatini or thick spaghetti) - 350g
  • Fresh sausage (google for "salsiccia" to see it :)) withut spices - 250g
  • Dried mushroom ("porcini" are great)
  • Tomato sauce (250g) or fresh boiled and peeled tomatoes.
  • Scamorza affumicata (smoked cheese) 100g
  • a small pinch of chili pepper powder
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

You should cook the pasta  in the "traditional way": put water in a pot, let it boil and then add salt (I never measured the amount of salt, a simple rule is to use 1lt of water, 10g of salt for 100g of pasta), wait until it boils again and then add the pasta. Cooking time vary depending on the kind of pasta you use and is usually written on the box.
In the meantime you should peel and cut the sausage in small pieces (1-2cm long) and put the dried mushrooms in some water.
Put a couple of tablespoons of olive il in a pan and. when the oil is hot, add the sausage, cook it for a few minutes and then add tomato sauce and mushrooms. Add salt and chili pepper (the sauce should not be spicy, just tasteful), let the tomato reduce in half and then reduce heat to the minimum to keep the sauce warm.
Grate the cheese in not-so small chunks or cut it into small pieces.
Use a colander to retrieve the pasta when is cooked and put it back (without any water) inside the pot.
Put the pot back on the stove and add sauce and cheese to the pasta.
Mix the pasta until the cheese is melt and the sauce is evenly distributed and then serve... and enjoy.
posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 1:19 PM Print
# re: Pasta alla Silana
4/2/2009 2:12 PM
Beautiful picture of Calabria castle ;-)
Is the same they shoot Highlander movie, isn't ? I'v been there a life ago...
# re: Pasta alla Silana
4/2/2009 2:20 PM
Yes, it's Eilean Donan Castle.
I've been i Calabria and there are many beautiful places there but I've no pictures of Calabria on my PC when I wrote that post and so I took a random one... hoping that no one will distinguish the sunny mediterranean coast of Calabria from this image of Scotland!

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