I was craving pasta the other day, and when I came across an interesting recipe in the newest issue of Fine Cooking Magazine I knew I had to try it. By the way, for anyone not familiar with this magazine, I think it is one of the best food magazines published. If you love to cook, you should check it out. Even their website is terrific. Not only do they give you loads of great recipes but they often explain the how and why of cooking techniques.
This particular recipe was quick and simple to prepare, and really quite delicious. (The quick and easy is an important theme for me lately.) It was mild when done with sweet Italian sausage, but you could easily spice it up by changing the sausage or adding some hot sauce.
Fresh Tagliatelle with Sausage, Red Peppers and Arugula
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 13-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped (1-3/4 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 10-oz. package fresh tagliatelle or fettuccine
4 cups loosely packed baby arugula (about 2-1/2 oz.)
3/4 oz. (1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
8 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Break the sausage into bite-size pieces and add them to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 4 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of the fat and return the skillet to medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the peppers and cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the sauce is slightly thickened, 8 minutes.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package instructions. Drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sauce, arugula, cheese, and basil (if using) and toss with tongs until the arugula is slightly wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
I used linguine and skipped the basil because all that was available at my grocery store was practically ready for the compost bin. The last picture is the magazine version of the dish. Doesn’t it look all clean and professional? Bet it didn’t taste any better than mine.