Pasta Woodsman Style

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 sweet Italian sausages, peeled and crumbled
1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, sliced thin
1 can 28oz canned Italian plum tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted and drained
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 lb pasta
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt

Bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy skillet over medium heat, toss in the garlic, and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Crumble the sausage into small pieces, cook until the sausage is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir about half the mushrooms into the sausage mixture. Add the remaining mushrooms as those in the pan wilt, making room for more. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. If the mushrooms give off liquid, allow time for the juices to boil off before the mushrooms start to brown.

Pour the tomatoes into the skillet, stir in the peas, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook a minute or two. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is lightly reduced about 5 minutes. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil. Spoon the ricotta into the sauce and stir gently to mix.

If the skillet is large enough to accommodate the sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer and drop it directly into the sauce in the skillet. If not, drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and pour in the sauce. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring gently to coat the pasta with sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of grated cheese. Check the seasonings, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Spoon an additional cup of ricotta over top of pasta and serve immediately.

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