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Pork Sausage Ragu with Saffron
This Sardinian specialty is excellent prepared with Dean & DeLuca's homemade hot Italian sausage

1 pound hot Italian sausage (about 4 links)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes (about 7 medium tomatoes), peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 1/2 cups fine quality tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
10 sun-dried tomato halves packed in oil, finely chopped
2 imported bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano
minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish

1. Prick each sausage several times with the tines of a fork. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over moderately low heat, and in it cook the sausages, turning frequently, until well browned on all sides and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the sausages with a slotted spoon. Stir in the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom, until onions are softened, about 7 minutes. When the sausages are cool enough to handle, cut them crosswise into thin slices.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, bay leaves, saffron, salt, and pepper, and cook over low heat at a bare simmer, stirring frequently and carefully so the sauce will not stick, for 1 hour. Discard the bay leaves.
3. Stir hot pasta into the Dutch oven with the sausage, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the pecorino Romano. Spoon the pasta into bowls and top with parsley.

This Sardinian specialty is excellent prepared with Dean & DeLuca's homemade hot Italian sausage. The high budget - low budget confrontation of saffron and sausage is intriguing; the ingredients seem almost medieval together. We love this sauce with a short, stubby dried pasta, like malloreddus, or the Pugliese specialty cavatelli. Makes enough sauce for 2 pounds dried pasta