My mortadella has a second name, it’s B-o-l-o-g-n-a. I was recently in Bologna, the home of mortadella, and I can assure that the real Mortadella Bologna has very little to do with its American namesake – bologna, (aka, baloney). (It hurts even to write that word, much less compare it to the original.)
Two very trustworthy Roman friends (a chef and a hotelier) both independently told me that I needed to eat at Osteria Santa Caterina while in Bologna. I arrived in town, dropped my bag, and made a b-line for Via Santa Caterina. First came the mortadella, hand crafted and cut prosciutto-thin. Then came the tortellini, stuffed with mortadella. Da morire, as they say, “to die for.”
Naturally, I returned for dinner. Handmade pasta in a ragu di salsiccia in bianco, sausage ragu, slow-cooked for two hours. The owners kindly gave me their recipe, which I kindly pass on to you. Da morire.
Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion until translucent in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook until pink has faded. Add the wine, vegetable cube (dissolved in a cup of water), salt, and pepper.
Reduce to low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring regularly. When only a few minutes of cooking time remain, dissolve the saffron in 1/2 cup water and add to sausage mixture.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
Add the pasta to the sausage mixture, and then mix in rosemary. Add some cooking water if it seems dry. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano.