Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Better Monday

Monday night's dinner was exactly what I was looking for. I hadn't made anything spicy in quite awhile after Josh's bout with acid reflux, so it was about time I made something full and flavorful. I'd been craving something like this for sometime now, but I didn't really know if this recipe was going to hit the spot. But it did, and it's going to hit that spot again at lunchtime when I ravenously devour my leftovers. This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis, but I found it via Dine and Dish. I don't watch much Food Network, which I'm sure sounds just absurd for a food blogger to write. I usually just can't stand many of the personalities that are on there- specifically Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee, but lots of people tend to bug me. I usually stick to PBS for my food television. Anyway, since I almost never tune into FN this is the first Giada recipe I've made. It is really good though, so I may check out one of her books soon.

Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis's Everyday Pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound rigatoni pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan.
  • Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the bell peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and basil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated, then add the Marsala, tomatoes with their juice, and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Bring to a simmer.
  • Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each. Return the sausages to the pan. Simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  • While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the thickened sauce; toss to combine. Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.
My notes: I made several adjustments to the recipe. Usually I follow most things pretty faithfully, especially when it's something I've never attempted before. But because I had a deep yearning to have this recipe come out a specific way I meddled a bit. First, I couldn't get turkey sausage, so I used pork. I mean, I looked, but even the gigantic meat counter at Central Market didn't have any. I used petite diced tomatoes because the hubster isn't partial to giant hunks of tomatoes, and because I wanted the tomato part to be a little more sauce-like. I used green bell peppers because 1) they're cheaper, and 2) offer more color contrast with the tomatoes. I ditched the Marsala wine and substituted half a can of water instead. I'm sure it adds a great flavor, but it wasn't the flavor I was looking for. And I definitely used the optional red pepper flakes.

1 comment:

Pam said...

I love Giada's recipes. This is one that I haven't tried, and it sounds good. I will definitely give it a try!

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