Farfalle means "butterfly" in Italian, and this pasta's bow-tie shape catches and holds onto every bit of the silky tomato sauce. Fennel seed-flecked Italian sausage meets cremini mushrooms, and it's a match made in heaven. The sauce contains mascarpone, which is a rich, spreadable Italian cheese made with cream. Bellissimo! You never "sausage" a beautiful pasta dish in your life!
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You Will Need
Before You Cook
Prepare the Ingredients
Cut mushrooms into ¼" slices. Peel and mince shallot. Stem parsley. Rinse sausages, pat dry, and on a separate cutting board, slice each sausage link into 5 pieces.
Cook the Sausage
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat, add sliced Italian sausage, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until links reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees. Transfer sausages to a plate. Drain (never down the sink!) off all but 2 tsp. of rendered fat from sausages for cooking mushrooms later.
Cook the Pasta
Add pasta to boiling salted water and cook 8-10 minutes, or until al dente (Italian for "to the tooth", meaning it still has a little bite or firmness). Drain in colander, return to pot, toss with 1 tsp. olive oil, and set aside.
Cook Mushrooms and Shallots
Heat pan with rendered fat over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallot and cook until mushrooms have released their moisture and shallots have softened, 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes (use a pinch at first, then add more to taste). Add red cooking wine and cook for another minute, scraping caramelized meats and vegetables from bottom of pan. Using wine to loosen caramelized bits of food from the pan is called "deglazing" and is a classic cooking technique.
Complete the Sauce
Add canned tomatoes and their juices, mascarpone, grated Parmesan (reserving 2 tsp. for garnish), and cooked Italian sausage. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes while stirring continuously.
Plate the Dish
In a bowl or plate, place a serving of pasta and ladle a generous portion of sauce on top. Garnish with parsley and remaining Parmesan cheese.
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