This recipe is an unusual combination of impressive and really, really easy. It would easily work for a casual dinner party, even on a weeknight, with the addition of some good bread, red wine and a green salad. Its very hearty, flexible in terms of how calorically lethal and how spicy you’d like it, and (best of all) calls for no ingredients that require relocation to a major metropolitan area. It is also (based on the evidence available to me) a real kid-pleaser. We all loved it; I hope you do, too.
The original recipe is here.
1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2. 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed (You could easily substitute mild sausage or turkey sausage, and I used more sausage than the recipe called for)
3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
4. 1 small shallot, minced
5. 2 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce (I usually have some homemade in the freezer, but a good quality jarred sauce would taste good and make this even easier)
6 1/4 cup heavy cream (I used half and half, and you could even use reduced fat or fat free half and half)
7. 1/2 cup frozen baby peas
9. 1 pound bucatini or perciatelli (I used rigatoni on the theory that the tubes of pasta would fill up nicely with sauce and “stuff;” I was right)
10. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
11. 2 tablespoons shredded basil
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
2. Partially cover the saucepan and cook the tomato sauce over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes longer. Season with salt.
3. After adding the cream and peas, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Add the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of the grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese and toss over low heat for 2 minutes, until the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Transfer the pasta to bowls, top with the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese and the shredded basil and serve.