TT Test Kitchen Tip: Burrata, a creamy Italian cheese, is scrappy in its own right: It was created in the early 20th century as a way to use the little scraps of mozzarella left over in the vat during the cheesemaking process.
TT Test Kitchen Tip: Use the mushroom stems from this dish to make TT's Crostini with Goat Cheese and Mushroom-Stem Duxelles.
Pasta Scraps with Burrata, Sausage, Mushrooms and Fennel
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or leftover bacon fat from TT's Wine-and-Butter-Braised Chard and Cauliflower Ribs and Greens with Piave-Bacon Bread Crumbs)
¾ pound mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed and sausage crumbled
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced and fronds reserved
1½ cups cremini mushroom caps, sliced
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound assorted pieces of leftover dried pasta
Flaky sea salt
1. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat and warm. Add the sausage and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain off the fat, leaving 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add the shallot, garlic, fennel and mushrooms to the pan and cook until translucent and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and tomato paste and cook another 2 minutes. Add the sausage back into the pan and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large stockpot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sausage mixture and ladle in a bit of pasta water until the pasta is creamy. Spoon the pasta into four bowls, top with burrata, sea salt and reserved fennel fronds and serve immediately.
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