I first found this recipe on Food Network, and when I got Everyday Pasta, I realized it's part of the "Hearty Pastas" section. Again, Giada does not disappoint. The Marsala wine really adds a wonderful flavor. And the best part, Giada calls for turkey sausages, so I didn't have to change the recipe! I do, however, remove them from their casing, because I don't even like to think about the source of that casing (although I know what it is). I've made this many times, and it's never failed. It is SO good - probably one of our favorite dinners. I do have to space out my recipes that call for red pepper though - Bob gets heartburn! He's only 26, so I can't imagine how he'll be when he's older!
This recipe serves 4 to 6, so when I make it for just Bob and I, I halve the recipe, and there's *sometimes* some left over :)
Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausages (optional: remove from casing)
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons dried)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice*
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound rigatoni pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
*I use petite cut diced tomatoes
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pan. I find that I don't even need oil since I remove the sausage from the casing, so I might just add a bit before the next step.
2. Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the bell peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and basil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated, then add the Marsala, tomatoes with their juice, and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Bring to a simmer.
3. Cut the sausages into 4 to 6 pieces each. Return the sausages to the pan. Simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. *Note: I never let it simmer this long. I usually just do 5-7 minutes. We like it to have a little more sauce! Because of this, I start the water boiling during step 1 and cook the pasta while I make the sauce.
4. While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the thickened sauce; toss to combine. Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese.
Source: Adapted from Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis