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Tagliatelle Contadina with Silvano

Ever since Silvano Marchetto opened Da Silvano restaurant in 1975, it has been a New York City culinary institution. Although rival restaurateurs have tried to duplicate the tastes of his Tuscan-inspired menu, Silvano’s clientele are unwavering in their devotion; a retinue of actors, publishers, agents, politicians, and Italian-food enthusiasts make an effort to dine there as often as they can. This simple yet flavorful recipe, which Silvano prepares today, is a quintessential example of why his customers remain so loyal to the food Silvano has spent his adult life perfecting.

Tagliatelle Contadina
Serves 4 to 6

4 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 hot Italian sausages (4 ounces each)
3 sweet Italian sausages (4 ounces each)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice, juice reserved
1/4 cup defrosted frozen peas or blanched fresh peas
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 pound fresh tagliatelle
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, chop sage and rosemary together into a thick paste; set aside. Remove the casings from the sausages, and knead them together by hand.

2. In a large sauté pan wide and deep enough to hold all the ingredients, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, and cook, using a spatula to break up the sausage, until browned, about 5 minutes.

3. Add sage-and-rosemary mixture, 3/4 cup cream, and tomatoes to the sausage. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add peas, and cook, 1 minute. Add butter, and gently stir until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

4. Add salt and tagliatelle to the boiling water, and cook until done, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain pasta, and immediately add it to the sauce. Toss well to combine. Serve sprinkled with crushed red-pepper flakes.

This recipe has been adapted from “Da Silvano Cookbook: Simple Secrets from New York’s Favorite Italian Restaurant” by Silvano Marchetto with Andrew Friedman and Scott Haas. Copyright ©2001 by Silvano Marchetto. Reprinted by permission of Bloomsbury USA

Silvano Marchetto
Executive chef and owner
Da Silvano

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