Cavatelli with Duck Sausage and Pesto Rosso
Chef Alex Tubero shares his recipe for pasta with homemade duck sausage topped with a piquant red pesto.
pasta | sauce | duck
Chef Alex Tubero of
in New York City is full of pasta inspiration. If you are looking to try something new for your pasta nights, this take on pesto pasta with sausage is sure to be a hit. Tubero uses the lesser-known pesto rosso, made with sweet piquillo peppers, two kinds of nuts, and olives, along with the typical basil and parsley. The homemade sausage is made from duck instead of pork and features fennel seed and chili flake. At Amali, Chef Tubero uses only fresh pasta. You can source fresh cavatelli from
or he suggests dry orecchiette.
Cook your pasta in your
Pasta Insert Set
before transferring it to a
Stainless Clad Saucier
filled with the sauce. This will give your dish that restaurant-quality silkiness that comes from letting the pasta finish cooking in the sauce and adding in some starchy water to bring it all together. You will have leftovers of both the duck sausage and the pesto rosso, which will each keep for a week in the fridge, but can either be frozen or pared down.
For the Duck Sausage
pound ground duck
teaspoon pink curing salt (optional)
tablespoons kosher salt
cup fennel seed
tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
For the Pesto Rosso
cups piquillo peppers
cup pine nuts
cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted
pint good quality extra virgin olive oil
cup fresh cavatelli or dried orecchiette
cup of duck sausage
stick of butter
cup pesto rosso
cup shredded pecorino
cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges to season
For the duck sausage, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour before cooking. You can find pink curing salt
To make the pesto rosso, grind all ingredients, except for olive oil, in a mortar and pestle. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture until it is well combined until it has the consistency of a pesto. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor and drizzle in the olive oil. Make sure the sauce isn’t too blended. If the sauce is too thick add more olive oil until desired consistency is achieved.
Pasta Insert Set
over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Season with salt. Chef Tubero suggests that your water should taste like a well-seasoned soup rather than the ocean. Add your fresh cavatelli and cook cavatelli for approximately 7 minutes until cooked through. If using dry pasta, follow package instructions, cooking the orecchiette a little shy of the recommended al dente time. Remove the Pasta Insert, leaving behind the pasta water.
Once sausage is fully cooked, add 1 cup of reserved pasta water and butter. When pasta is nearly done cooking add it to your sauce with the pesto rosso and mix well. Cook pasta in sauce for one minute, stirring to prevent pasta from sticking to the pan.
If your sauce seems too dry, add a splash of pasta water. Cooking the pasta in the sauce is very important to incorporate the sauce in the cavatelli and to distribute the starch from the pasta into the sauce. Cook until the pasta is done and remove from heat.
Finish the pasta with half of the fresh pecorino, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Mix vigorously and plate, topping with the remaining pecorino and serve with a slice of lemon.