It is Friday, and I took the day off work today. With houseguests on the way, I scrubbed the bathroom, counted out piles of pillows and sheets, and went to the ferramenta to get keys copied. This is our very local hardware store in Garbatella, a small one-room male bastion and treasure trove of grout, paint, tools and chatty old guys who love to give advice. They are always amused by the straniera (female foreigner) trying to explain a hardware problem in Italian. Today: “Il water perde l’acqua: penso e pieno di calcare…?” A running toilet, probably due to hard water and calcium accumulating somewhere. The ferramenta reassured me this was normal, that they would sort me out a plumber if needed to scrape out the calcium. As this may mean dismantling parts of the bathroom wall, I think this may just have to wait until our visitors have left again.
After a day of domestic fervour, I needed an easy dinner. The World Cup is STILL on, and it is hot, so half-time pasta this time is with ricotta e salsiccie, fresh Italian sausages. If you get the water boiling when half-time starts, you can just about make this and dish it out during half-time. While my husband is following France-Germany (0-1 now), I am off to Fiesta Friday 23, bearing a large dish of this pasta and lots of Happy 4th of July wishes to all.
Half-time dinner: Pasta con ricotta e salsiccia
400 gr short pasta of your choice
3-4 fresh Italian sausages (salsiccie)
250 gr of ricotta
A little fresh rosemary
Pinch of salt and pepper
Handful of grated parmesan or pecorino
Boil your pasta in salted water. In the interim, remove the casings from the sausages and chop them roughly. Cook them in a large frying pan, while continuing to break them up, and drain the fat. Chop the rosemary and add it to the sausages. Add the ricotta to the frying pan, and stir well, turning off the heat while you wait for the pasta to finish. Just to al dente.
Take out a half cup of the water the pasta is boiling in. Drain the pasta, and add it to the frying pan and toss all until there is a little ricotta on all the pasta. You might add a splash of the hot pasta water if it looks a bit dry. Sprinkle pepper and grated cheese over, and serve. And be happy the World Cup is over in nine days……..
Notes: I have seen this done with a little saffron added, and with a little white wine splashed in, or red wine, and without rosemary: really, do what you like best. I might try a vegetarian version with butter-fried mushrooms next time. In the heat, the less time cooking the better. A very good weekend to all! And thanks to the Fiesta Friday hosts.