Spicy Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Bolognese

This pasta sauce is somewhere between a bolognese and an arrabiata. It doesn’t matter what you call it, though, this is an absolutely delicious and spicy dinner. The sauce gets stuck i the twists of the fusilli pasta. You can adjust the spiciness by reducing the amount of crushed red pepper flakes –but I wouldn’t recommend it. 😉

Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 4 tomatoes
  • red wine vinegar
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil
  • 4 italian sausages —I like these.
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated or shreaded
  • salt
  • 6 chopped mushrooms
  • 1 14-oz can of tomato sauce

Instructions

Preheat your broiler and then stick both bell peppers into the broiler. Thoroughly blacken all sides.

Put a gallon of water on to boil in one pot.

Put a quart of water on to boil in another pot.

Core tomatoes and slice crosses only through the skin on two sides. Prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to fit the tomatoes. When the smaller pot of water boils, drop the tomatoes in for thirty seconds. Remove them with tongs and drop them into the ice water and set aside.

In a large skillet, brown the red onion, some salt and the sausage (remove sausage casings).

Peel the tomatoes. The skin should come right off, easily. If these directions aren’t clear, check out this site on peeling tomatoes.

Next cut each tomato into eight wedges. Place in a large flat pan (like a pie pan). Drizzle with red wine vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 500°F for ten minutes.

When all sides of the bell peppers are black, remove from heat. Using tongs and a fork, remove the skin. It should come right up. Chop off the stem and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. This should be very easy. If the skin isn’t coming off, you didn’t roast the peppers long enough.

When the large pot of water is boiling, add your fusilli. Cook until al dente.

Add sausage mixture, basil, garlic, cheese, about 1/4 cup of olive oil and tomatoes to your food processor. Pulse a few times to make a thick mixture which is slightly coarser than a paste.

In the same skillet, sauté the chopped mushrooms for a few minutes. Add the mixture from the food processor, the red pepper flakes and the tomato sauce. Simmer for fifteen minutes.

In pasta bowls, add the pasta and spoon generous amounts of sauce over the top. Add a few more shreds of cheese to the top and sliced mushroom for garnish. I suggest serving with garlic bread.

Serves: 6-8
Cook + Prep time: 45 min – 1 hour

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