Sunday, February 12, 2012

supper sunday | sausage, onion and roasted pepper pasta with broccolini

i l-o-v-e this pasta - it is one of my favorite recipes of all time.  i adapted it from this martha stewart everyday food recipe by adding more veggies and a bit of heat.  it's wonderful for feeding a crowd and equally good for two (especially on a cool night when you're looking for something hearty and comforting). 

thinly slice some yellow onion and saute in olive oil (i sometimes use chipotle oil for some subtle heat).

cut peppers in half and pull out the core & seeds.  put on a cookie sheet and broil.  you can skip this step and use jarred roasted peppers, but it's so easy to roast them yourself and i think they taste so much better.  you can use just red, but i like the color the yellow and orange give, too.

chop up some broccolini including the stems.  you could probably use whatever green you like, or skip it.  my husband and i like the pop of green and extra nutrients they add.  i think broccoli rabe or another green (like kale or spinach) would be tasty, too.

when the onions have browned, pull them out of the pan (or just push them to the side like i do because i'm lazy) and brown up some sausage.  i use reduced fat ground mild sausage.  if you prefer heat, you can use spicy italian sausge or even a chorizo would be yummy.

while all that's cooking up, boil up some water for the pasta.  the original recipe calls for orechiette and i use that sometimes, but i really love the way rigatoni works with this recipe.  bella famiglia is one of my favorite brands - one of the few boxed rigatonis that don't break up when they cook.

salt the water and throw the pasta in.  set your timer a few minutes less than what the package calls for.  you'll see why in a moment.

by now, your peppers should be about done.  they'll be done when they're good and charred.  if you've never roasted your own before, don't worry.  this is how they should look - the skin will come off later.

pop those peppers in a bowl and cover with suran wrap and set aside while they cool.

when your pasta timer goes off, toss in the broccolini to cook with the pasta for the last few minutes.

take those peppers out of the bowl and pull off the skin.  it should come off pretty easily and you'll be left with beautifully soft and sweet roasted peppers.  stack 'em up and give them a chop.

toss the peppers together with the onions and sausage.  at this point, i add a bit of cayenne if i want some heat.  i use a garlic pepper as well - just a few good twists for extra flavor.  add a few spoonfuls of the starchy pasta water to give the toppings a sauce.

drain the pasta with the broccolini and toss with the rest of the ingredients.

sprinkle with parmesan cheese (or pecorino romano, my fave, but not my husband's).  eat.  have seconds.  eat leftovers for lunch (if there are any).  repeat.

sausage, onion & roasted pepper pasta with broccolini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
2-3 roasted red peppers
1 bunch broccolini
1 package ground sausage
1 lb pasta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

in a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  add onion and saute until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  cut peppers in half and core.  place on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and broil until charred.  put in a bowl and cover with suran wrap until cool.  peel off skin and slice, set aside.  pull onions out of pan and set aside.  add sausage to the pan and brown.  remove from heat and add onions and peppers.  meanwhile, in a large pot, bring water to a boil.  add pasta and cook until almost done.  in the last few minutes, add the broccolini to the pot and cook with the pasta.  add some of the pasta water to the saucepan and put back on the heat.  drain pasta and broccolini and add to the pan.  toss with the toppings and add the cheese.  serve immediately.

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