Monday, June 21, 2010

Sausage, Tomato, and Bell pepper Pasta

- 1 Red Bell Pepper & 1 Yellow Bell Pepper - need only half of each, diced
- 1 Shallot, diced
- 1 Whole Garlic, roasted in Olive Oil *
- 1 Sausage link, approx 1/2 lb- I used fennel, but a sweet italian sausage is a good sub
- 1 large or 2 small Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped- only if in season; use vine ripened otherwise
- Garlic Oil (reserved from the roasted garlic)
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- Fresh Basil, approx 10 leaves torn or chiffonade
- Chives, approx 1 1/2 tablespoons, chopped
- Fresh mozzarella, cubed
- 1/4 cup dry White Wine
- 1/3 cup Chicken Stock
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Red Pepper flakes, to taste
- Kosher Salt/Freshly Ground Pepper,  to taste
- 1 lb Fettuccine Pasta

* Roasted garlic cloves can be made by placing peeled, whole cloves in a small sauce pan. Add olive oil to just halfway up the cloves and keep on a very low heat. Mix occasionally. The cloves are done once they are soft to the touch. Keep an eye on them and reduce the heat as necessary. Try not to overbrown them. Also, save the leftover oil for later use in this dish.

- Remove casing from the sausage and brown in a large, hot skillet.  Break into 1/2 inch chunks while you saute. Once browned, remove from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet over medium-high, saute the shallots and diced bell peppers in about a tablespoon each of garlic oil and butter.  Saute until cooked but still a little bite to the peppers. Season with salt/pepper to taste.
- Add 1/4 cup white wine and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and reduce the wine while scraping up any pan drippings.
- Add 1/3 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to low and reduce.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a separate pot to al dente texture.
- Add the diced tomatoes to the bell pepper/shallot mixture and just warm through over low heat.
- Add the browned sausage, roasted garlic cloves, pasta, and lemon zest.  Toss and warm through over low heat.
- Add the basil leaves.
- Drizzle a liberal amount of reserved garlic oil and some red pepper flakes if desired.  I also add a little drizzle of chili oil. 
- Toss so all ingredients are evenly distributed and pasta evenly coated.  Taste for seasonings and add salt pepper as needed.
- Mix in the cubed mozzarella and chives.  Ready to serve!