I love to play around with pasta. Pasta is neutral in flavor, with limitless potential. The best pasta I have ever had was in Italy and it was incredibly simple. The life changing dish had only three ingredient. And it was dirt cheap. And although this trip was many moons ago with my husband, well before we were married, I remember it vividly. It was an incredible trip all-around. We were young, without much money, exploring this amazing country freely. We traveled all over Italy and spent countless hours driving through the countryside. It was on our way to the quaint town of Montalcino, when we had one of the best meals of our lives.
We ate a lovely, small family run restaurant that for the life of me I can’t recall the name of. It was nondescript and run-down, but with a killer view which overlooked the rolling Italian countryside. We were not given a menu, (I don’t think they had any) as there was not much to choose from. Homemade pasta with olive oil and shaved black truffles was one of two daily offerings. I ordered it. And it was incredible. I don’t think I need to tell you why.
The takeaway from this remarkable meal is that simple pasta dishes are often better than the more complicated ones. At least in my opinion. This campanelle pasta with sausage and green olives is a rustic pasta recipe with some simple ingredients that just work well together. In this dish I use a good quality campanelle pasta, which means “bellflowers or little bells” in Italian, because it’s sturdy ruffles cone-shape is strong enough to hold up against the more predominant flavor of chicken sausage.
Briny green olives and radicchio add to the true earthiness of the dish which is all brought together by the wine and chicken stock reduction. This is obviously not the truffle pasta dish I had in Italy all these years ago, but it is inspired by the simplicity of that dish I so fondly remember.
Campanelle Pasta With Sausage & Olives
- 12 ounces campanelle pasta
- 12 ounces Italian chicken sausage, casing removed, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 medium radicchio, halved, core removed and thinly sliced
- 1 cup Castelvetrano green olives, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, packed, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- Step 1 Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook per the package instructions till al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Step 2 Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and when hot, but not smoking, add the sausage and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Step 3 Add the white wine and stir, scrapping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as you go. Cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Step 4 Add the chicken stock and and simmer for 2 minutes longer.
- Step 5 Next, add the radicchio, olives, salt and pepper and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Step 6 Stir the cooked pasta into the sausage mixture. Add the chopped parsley and mix well to incorporate. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Step 7 To serve, divide the paste into serving bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.