Lombardia is my home region and Monza is my home town. Most people will know this area of Italy because of it’s capital city – Milan, the “fashion city”, but trust me when I tell you it’s not only about the gucci and prada handbags – there is good food as well!
One of Milan’s most traditional dishes is “risotto alla milanese con ossobuco” – a saffron flavoured risotto served with veal knuckle. Although Milan is about 15 minutes away from Monza (home to the famous F1 track), us Monzese have come up with our own risotto – “risotto alla luganega” which showcases the famous pork sausage from the area called luganega. Luganega is traditionally made with pork meat, parmesan cheese, marsala and beef stock. It’s also eaten raw (in small doses of course!)
Inspired by risotto alla monzese – I decided to adapt my family’s recipe to a pasta dish – and this creamy, bright yellow sauce is the result! Luganega is impossible to find in Australia – so an italian style pork sausage will do – but make sure they are good quality ones as it is the star of the dish! The addition of parmesan at the end is optional – but it’s the combination of flavours that truly make the dish a complete one. Saffron is easily found in most supermarkets.
- 200g of penne (I used Pasta Garofalo's penne ziti)
- 2 italian style pork sausages (or luganega if you can find it)
- 200ml of thickened cream
- 1 sachet of saffron powder or 1 tsp of saffron threads
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Start by putting a large saucepan of water on medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Whilst the water comes to the boil, remove the sausages from their casings and chop up into small pieces. Fry off the sausage in a non-stick fry pan for about 5 minutes.
- Once the sausage has browned, add the thickened cream and cook over very low heat for about 10 minutes. Add the saffron and mix through.
- Add the pasta to the saucepan and cook according to packet instructions - Pasta Garofalo's penne cook in 11 minutes.
- Before draining the pasta, hold back 1-2 tbsp of pasta water and if necessary mix through the sauce.
- Drain the pasta and return to the pan with the sausage/saffron sauce and mix through. Add a few tbsp of grated parmesan cheese and mix through.
- Serve immediately.Serve