Sometimes Sausage is just optional –
Move over tomato sauce. There’s a new saucy broad in town – and she’s a fiery redhead! So who’s the dish? It’s PASTA WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE – and this gal has attitude!
Some days she’s a vegetarian and sometimes she adds a meaty companion – in this case, sausage. The sausage adds a mighty flavor boost and is a good compliment I think. However, there is no reason why this dish should not be meatless. It is an outstanding sauce with so much flavor on its own that it will satisfy the veggie appetite.
Like Vellll-vet: Just look at this bright vivid coral colored sauce! GAW-geous! This sauce is one that everyone will love. Surprisingly, even if you don’t like red peppers, you will enjoy it, as it takes on a velvety texture and mild flavor when cooked with the other ingredients – i.e. onion, Mascarpone etc. It is not unpleasantly spicy or strong – quite the opposite. It is smooth, almost sweet, and sooo delicious.
The Pasta: You’ll notice that I used Pappardelle Pasta – the long wide flat macaroni for this demonstration. I just happen to like it and was “in the mood”. The fact is, you can use many other types of pasta with the sauce very successfully. Some suggestions: Penne, Ziti, Rigatoni, Orrechiette, Pasta Fresca, Gnocchi and Polenta etc. Use what you like! You see how versatile this sauce can be. One guarantee is that this easy to make sauce will rock the house!
Tips: I like to roast my peppers ahead and refrigerate them – which really makes the creation of the sauce quick and easy. For a simple tutorial in roasting peppers check out this link for the step by step: Sovana and the Mystery Dish It is really easy and just takes a few minutes. The result is amazing. These roasted peppers, useful for so many things, are absolutely superior when you make them yourself. I remember my mother, Loretta, used to roast them over an open flame on the gas stove. You can do that – but the method in the link is a little easier, and you can do several at the same time. Quick and easy- the name of the game!!
Let’s make some sauce!
PASTA WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE
Prep: 60 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
1 lb. Pasta (Suggestions: Pappardelle, Penne, Ziti, Rigatoni, Orrechiette , Pasta Fresca, Gnocchi or Polenta etc.)
1 1/2 lb. Italian Sausage (optional) – Recommend mixture of Hot and Sweet – cooked and sliced
4 Roasted Red Peppers (See step by step instruction here: Sovana and the Mystery Dish )
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Onion – chopped
3 Cloves Fresh Garlic – chopped
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. Mascarpone Cheese
Chopped Fresh Italian Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish
Plenty of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese to serve with the finished pasta
Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Roast peppers as recommended above. You can roast them the day before and refrigerate, if you like.
Cook Sausage (if using).
Saute onion in olive oil at medium high heat for just a few minutes until tender.
Add chopped garlic and cook another minute – do not burn garlic.
Add the roasted peppers to the pan.
Then add the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes.
Put the mixture in a food processor or blender and process until it becomes a VERY smooth light puree.
Now transfer the puree back to your pan. Check for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
Heat through. Add mascarpone and mix into the sauce. This is the point at which the sauce transforms to that beautiful coral color!
Add your cooked sliced sausage (if using) and toss.
Mix with pasta – garnish with parsley – Serve with plenty of cheese.
The choices for wine to pair with PASTA WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE are as many and varied as the choices for pasta. I must have vino rosso with this dish. However, from there your experience can choose a couple of different paths.Your red might be better on the lighter side but with the smoky roasted peppers and the addition of sausage will demand a little more from your choice. I like a Chianti Classico (make it a Riserva if you add the sausage) or Valpolicella Ripasso (makes everything better) —Even a Rose would be nice. Whatever your wine pleasure, you will surely love this sauce!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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