October 22, 2009

Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers

Ok, here's another one adapted from the Great Food Fast book from Everyday Food. Apparently they really do have a lot of good recipes, although this actually asks you to roast your own peppers---not something I would consider particularly fast. (And when I say fast, I'm thinking along the lines of black bean tacos--open a can of beans, heat some tortillas, add cheese and salsa....)

Anyway, I'd never actually roasted my own bell peppers, so this was a fun experiment. It is incredibly easy (if not exactly quick) and I would recommend it to anyone. Roasted peppers have such a wonderful flavor! I feel like they would be a good addition to just about anything. AND it just sounds fancy. I think you will impress people (or at least people who've not roasted their own peppers before).

The onions and ricotta are my own additions. I made a pasta recipe that called for ricotta cheese recently, so I had it in the fridge. I've been adding it to all of my pasta dishes now, and it's such an easy (and low calorie) way to make any sauce creamy! And, as far as I'm concerned, creamy is almost always better than not creamy. Give it a try---be creative!

Also, orecchiette (or-reh-key-EH-tay) is my new favorite pasta. (The shape! They way they hold the sauce!) I've been hoarding recipes that call for it. I didn't see them available at my local supermarket, but I found some (organic and really expensive) at Whole Foods.

Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
  • 2 medium yellow bell peppers, prepped the same way
  • Course sat and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette (as you can see in my picture, I actually ran out this time and subbed some other small pasta)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pound Italian sweet sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup low-fat (or reg.) ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the broiler. Place the peppers, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from heat until charred--about 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Steam for 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve the juices in the bowl. Using a paper towel, rub off skins. (I just used my fingers to pull the skins off.) Thinly slice the peppers crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Return to bowl and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet. Saute onions, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize.
  3. At the same time, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions. Reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta water then drain pasta.
  4. Add the sausage and remaining oil to the skillet with the onions. Cook over medium heat, breaking sausage up with a spoon, until browned--7 to 10 minutes. Add the roasted peppers and cook until heated through.
  5. Transfer the sausage mixture to a large bowl. Add the pasta, butter, reserved pasta water, ricotta and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Top with grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. FYI Orecchietti means 'little ears' in Italian, for the shape of the pasta.


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