Sunday, June 3, 2007
Sausage Pepper and Onion Fake Bake
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound cooked chicken sausages
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock, a couple of glugs
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, (recommended: San Marzano)
Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil, 10 leaves, torn or shredded
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at table
Place a pot of water on the stove to boil for pasta. When the water boils, salt it and cook pasta to al dente, with a bite to it.
Prick sausages with a fork. Place chicken sausages in a large skillet and add 1 inch of water. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet, 1 turn of the pan. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat a little. Allow all the liquid to cook away then brown and crisp the casings, 5 to 6 minutes.
While pasta and sausage cook, heat a deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. When the sausages are cooked through, slice them on an angle and add them to the peppers and onions. Cook together until peppers and onions are tender and sliced sausages are crisp at edges then deglaze the pan with white wine or chicken stock. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to a bubble, reduce heat to low.
Drain rigatoni and return to warm pot. Add ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, parsley and basil and half of the Parmigiano, a couple of handfuls, stir to combine.
To assemble the "fake bake," place half the sausage, peppers, onions and sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with all of the pasta and then the remaining sausage and sauce. Cover the top of the dish with the grated Parmigiano and place until broiler 2 minutes to brown cheese and set pasta.
I made this for a dinner party last night. I usually use rigatoni and regular italian sausage but I tried some precooked garlic and herb chicken sausage and it turned out pretty well. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture until we were done eating. I also used Campanelle pasta instead of rigatoni (just because that is what we had in the pantry). Another bonus is that I was able to use the basil and parsley that I am growning on our deck.