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Pasta with Two Cheeses and Sausage

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Ingredients You'll Need

3 cups ricotta cheese, about 1 pound, drained through a fine strainer for about 30 minutes
1 pound penne rigata, ziti or similar pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, chopped
1/2 pound sweet Italian bulk sausage, or links with casing removed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons (or use one-half the amount dried rubbed sage)
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese, more for optional garnish


Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the pancetta and sausage. Brown, breaking up the sausage as it cooks, about 4 minutes. Remove all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Vigorously stir the ricotta cheese until smooth. Add to the pan with the sage, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese combines with the sausage. If desired, add the pepper flakes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the sauce with as much of the liquid as needed to loosen the sauce. Add the Romano cheese and toss well for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately, passing more Romano

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