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Farro Cavatelli with Rich Meat Sauce

Servings: 4, with some leftover sauce

Robust homemade farro cavatelli are the perfect foil to this sausage-centric meat sauce. The sauce, like all meat sauces, benefits from an overnight rest in the refrigerator. See the Tip, below, for make-ahead instructions.


  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 3 spicy Italian sausages (about 1/2 lb.), casings removed
  • 3 sweet Italian sausages (about 1/2 lb.), casings removed
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as rosemary, sage, and thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups tomato purée or milled tomatoes
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. Farro Cavatelli
  • Grated pecorino romano, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 670
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 190
  • Fat (g): 22
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 1760
  • Carbohydrates (g): 91
  • Fiber (g): 10
  • Sugar (g): 15
  • Protein (g): 30


  • Warm 1 Tbs. of the oil in a medium Dutch oven or other heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausages, and cook, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low, and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Stir in the carrot, celery, and onion, and then the herbs. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high, and pour in the wine, letting it bubble for a minute or so.
  • Add the reserved sausages and tomato purée to the pot, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Add 1/4 cup water to the pot if the sauce seems too thick. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously with kosher salt. Gently drop the cavatelli into the water, and stir with a serving fork or pasta fork to separate them. Bring the water back to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente, 9 to 11 minutes; because cavatelli are dense, they take a bit longer to cook than fresh noodles.
  • While the pasta is cooking, ladle about 2 cups of sauce into a warmed serving bowl. Reserve about a cup of the cooking water, and then drain the pasta. Pour the cavatelli into the serving bowl, and toss gently with the sauce, adding more sauce or a splash of cooking water as needed to thoroughly coat the pasta. Spoon additional sauce on top, and tuck in a few pieces of the sausage. Sprinkle with pecorino romano and serve.


The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat gently before serving.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • user-7694484 | 01/27/2021

    How much sausage is reserved? It says “add the sausages” but does not say to reserve any.

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