This dish is named after the people who drove food and wine carts in Italy. It is a slightly spicy red sauce, with garlic and basil, and is typically served over a thicker style of pasta. My favorite rendition of this dish also had hints of parsley and mint, which made for lingering, memorable flavors. After a little research, and substituting a few of the more difficult to find ingredients with like alternatives, I thought I might be able to come close to duplicating it. The only thing missing was Wild Idea’s artisan, Italian Buffalo Sausage, and I knew just where to go for that. This simple dish is packed with flavor and very easy to prepare. The perfect solution, for a stress free, delicious dinner! (Serves 4)
1 - 1 lb. Italian Buffalo Sausage
3 - tablespoons olive oil
3 - cloves garlic, about 1 tablespoon
½ - teaspoon chili flake, or pepperoncino (dried Italian chili pepper)
½ - cup basil, finely chopped
2 - tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 - tablespoon mint, finely chopped
1 - 28 ounce can whole *San Marzano Tomatoes, flash processed, *they’re the best
1 - teaspoon salt
2 - teaspoons sugar
1 - lemon, juiced, about ¼ cup
1 - cup freshly grated, Parmigiano Reggiano, or Porcini cheese
1 - 12 ounce box of Casarecce pasta, Pici pasta, or thick Spaghetti, cooked el dente, reserve 1 cup pasta water
1) Divide Wild Idea Italian Buffalo sausage into 24 pieces and roll into meatballs. Pour one of the tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet and roll the meatballs in the oil. Cover and set-aside until you are ready to broil.
2) In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, and toss or stir regularly, until tender, about 3 minutes.
3) Add the basil, parsley, and half of the mint to the pan. Sauté and stir for 1 minute.
4) Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and lemon juice and stir to incorporate. Bring to a gentle boil, cook for 5 minutes and then add the remaining mint. *Sauce can be made ahead and reheated.
5) During step 4, or right before serving, place the prepped bison meatballs on the second rack from the top of a preheated broiler, and broil the meat balls for about 5 minutes or until nicely browned.
6) Simultaneously bring the reserved pasta water to a boil. Add the prepared pasta, and toss to reheat.
7) Drain pasta, transfer to a bowl and add ½ cup of the grated cheese. Toss to incorporate.
8) Place desired amounts of pasta on to plates and cover with ¾ cup or desired amount of sauce. Serve with the hot Italian Bison meatballs and garnish with remaining grated cheese and additional fresh herbs. Delizioso!