On our last trip to Italy we stayed at a fabulous villa in a small town up the hillside from the city of Agropoli. We loved it! The countryside was beautiful, the little town was cute and friendly, and the house had such a relaxing atmosphere. We cooked there a couple times, but visited and then revisted a great trattoria in Agropoli which offered simple fare at great prices. This dish was so good we ordered it on both visits.
I am a "food tourist" so when I return freom trips I try to recreate the dishes I've enjoyed. This one was pretty easy to figure out. The area just north of Agropoli is where much of the famed mozzerella di bufala is made, so that was an obvious ingredient. Try to find the mozzerella ovolini or balls of mozzerella rather than the more chewy, stringy American version.
1 pound of rigatoni
Extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 hot Italian sausage links - remove casings and crumble
3 cloves garlic
12 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
a sprig of thyme
1 ball of mozzerella
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
Start the pasta boiling.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and then add the sausages and garlic. Use a fork to break up the sausage into small pieces while sauteeing until it's cooked. Add the tomatoes and thyme; cover and cook about 15 minutes. Add the cheeses, stirring over low heat until melted.
When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and add it to the pan. Stir to combine and serve.