This recipe came from Christina over at It’s a Keeper. She promotes products, (receiving samples and compensation for her endorsement). In the case of this recipe, Christina was promoting a particular brand of sausage. I chose to go with the best deal at the market rather than her recommended brand name. Whatever sausage you use is entirely up to you – just make sure it’s Italian Link Sausages in their casing.
The original recipe called for the sausage to be boiled for 20 minutes. I haven’t a clue why. Maybe it has something to do with the brand Christina is using – I recommend you steam any uncooked sausage of the uncooked variety, or seared and pan-fried. Now I could be wrong but it seems to me that boiling the sausage in water would dilute the flavors. Granted, when using pork or chicken sausage that has not been precooked, you would want to take certain precautions to make sure the interior of the sausage has been cooked through. Still, boiling seemed a bit of an overkill. That’s just my opinion on the subject.
One way around the whole boil/steam debate would be to use fully cooked Italian Sausage, which is what I did. That changed everything else to follow – no need to precook the sausage meant in the time it took to boil the water for the pasta and to cook it, dinner was on the table – quick and easy without sacrificing any of the color or flavor.
My guys like their pasta sauce with a little kick. It’s a personal thing, purely optional.
Italian Sausage and Red Peppers over Linguine
4 links of Italian sausage
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Red bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup red wine
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste (from a tube okay)
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb linguine, cooked al dente
Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil. While the water comes to a boil, slice the onions and peppers into long strips. Set aside until ready to use.
In a large, high-sided skillet heat 1 tablespoon over medium-high heat. Add sliced peppers and onions, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are softened and onions become translucent, about 10 minutes.
Coin-cut Italian Sausage into rounds about 1/4″ thick. Set aside until ready to use.
While pepper mixture is cooking, add pasta to boiling water and cook al denta.
Add sausage to the skillet and stir-fry until sausage is heated and just beginning to brown. Add garlic skillet and saute for 1 minute more.
Add wine tomatoes, tomato paste and red pepper flakes to skillet and cook until it reduces by half, about 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Drain pasta, place in a large serving bowl. Empty contents of skillet over pasta. Using tongs or pasta server, pull linguine through pepper mixture to coat well. Serve pasta, garnished with fresh Parmesan if desired.
A crisp green salad and warm bread would round out supper nicely.