Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Red Peppers, and Hot Pepper Flakes
salt for pasta water
4 servings whole wheat spaghetti, about 8 ounces (I use Garofalo Whole Wheat Italian Spaghetti
1 T + 2 T olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide
3 links hot turkey Italian sausage, about 12 oz.
1 T finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
freshly grated parmesan cheese to pass at the table
Start a large pot of water boiling for pasta, and add a generous amount of salt Cut off ends of red bell pepper, cut out seeds and inner membranes, then cut the pepper into strips about 1/4 inch wide. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan, add pepper strips and saute 2 minutes. Remove peppers to a dish. Squeeze Italian sausage out of casings into frying pan and cook about 10 minutes, breaking sausage apart with a turner as it cooks. When sausage is done, push to one side of the pan, add 2 T olive oil, minced garlic, and hot pepper flakes. Saute garlic and hot pepper flakes about 1 minute. By now the pasta water should be vigorously boiling, so add spaghetti , lower heat a little and set timer for 8 minutes. Add sauteed red bell peppers, 1/2 cup chicken stock, and 2 tsp. tomato paste to the frying pan with sausage, and let simmer while spaghetti is cooking. After 8 minutes, start checking spaghetti, and remove from heat when it’s barely done but still al dente in the center Save 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain spaghetti into a colander in the sink. When it’s drained, add spaghetti to the pan with sausage and peppers, add pasta cooking water, and gently stir to mix ingredients and coat the spaghetti with sauce liquid and oil. Serve hot, with freshly grated parmesan cheese to be added at the table.