The first time I made this pasta dish, I followed the instructions to a tee. Of course the whole time my brain was screaming at me – where’s the garlic, where’s the onion, the red pepper flakes, shouldn’t I add a splash of wine for good measure, etc. But the friend who had given me the recipe insisted that the recipe was perfect as written. So I decided I would make the sauce, and if it needed a little “something” at the end of the cooking time, I could improvise at that point. So with only 5 ingredients in the pan, I let the sauce burble away until the peppers were tender. Then I tasted the sauce. Well as they say in the modern world of phone texting and abbreviated non-verbal conversations – OMG! The sauce was indeed perfection. There was absolutely no reason to add a single solitary pinch of anything that had not appeared on the original list of ingredients. The flavor was amazing, the consistency perfect, and the visual appeal from the different colored peppers was delightful to behold. Of course, I still had to add the pasta, basil, and cream. But I figured whoever invented this recipe had the whole pasta perfecto thing down pat. So I added the remaining ingredients, called Mr. C. to the table, and we have been enjoying this dish ever since.
And then a funny thing happened last evening as I was preparing this dish. I realized that I had yet to share this recipe with all of you. I was absolutely aghast! How could I possibly have been so remiss? After all, this delightful pasta has literally everything going for it. It is extremely simple to prepare, contains ingredients found in almost any grocery store in America, and especially at this time of year, with peppers and basil at their peak of perfection (not to mention lowest price of the year) it just happens to also be divinely delicious. A perfect dish to serve your family and friends. Add a nice side salad, a hunk of freshly baked crusty bread, and a bottle of your favorite vino, and life just don’t get much better my friends. (And no, you don’t have to tell anyone how easy this pasta dish is to prepare. This can just remain our little secret!)
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage, pork or chicken
- 3 peppers, diced (yellow, orange, or red – I use a combination of all three)
- 1 28-oz. can Italian peeled whole tomatoes (Roma or other) or 4 large tomatoes peeled and diced
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 oz. small tube like pasta, penne, fusilli, etc. cooked al dente
- 3-4 T. fresh basil chiffonade
- 2 T. heavy cream or half and half
- grated Parmesan cheese
- grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Add olive oil to a medium large covered pan. Add the sausage and fry until it is dark brown. Add the peppers, canned tomatoes, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes or until the peppers are very tender, but not mushy. When ready to serve, add the freshly cooked pasta, basil, and heavy cream.
Serve liberally sprinkled with a combination of the 2 cheeses.