8 April, 2015
Pasta and Sausage Dinner
This recipe is from a favorite source of mine, 12 Tomatoes. It’s supposed to be a homemade version of an Olive Garden meal: Pepper and Sausage Rigatoni.
The recipe, it says, serves six, so I decided to invite some friends over for dinner, rather than cutting the recipe, as I usually would. The boyfriend and I had recently upgraded the entertainment system in my apartment, so we figured we would host a movie night.
The recipe seemed pretty straightforward. I started the prep-work by cleaning and cutting the veggies while the sausage finished thawing out.
Instead of using Italian sausage, which the recipe called for, I decided to use something I found at Sam’s.
If you can’t get some of these delicious things, I would recommend using Gianelli Italian sausages. They’re extremely flavorful and relatively easy to find, in my experience.
I started by prepping the peppers and the onion.
I learned, at a young age, a lot of good kitchen tips. Alton Brown taught me never to leave knives in the sink — wash them immediately and put them away. Rachael Ray taught me to use a garbage bowl while cooking, so you don’t have to make back and forth trips to the trash can for small things, like onion skins.
So, heeding the advice of one of my idols, I got out my garbage bowl.
I also keep a grocery bag hanging on one of the knobs of the lower cabinets near my workspace, so I can toss dinner garbage in there instead of into my main trash can, which is much larger. I find that it keeps the closet that my trash can is in from getting smelly.
The recipe said to remove the seeds from and chop the peppers.
Next, the onion.
I made it through the first half of the onion before my eyes started to water.
Fun fact: your eyes will water less if you cut onions with a non-serrated knife than if you use a serrated knife. Onions make you cry because of a gas called Propanethiol S-oxide, which mixes with enzymes in the onion and is released when you cut the bulb.
Now that my eyes were sufficiently on fire, it was time to move on to the cooking part of the prep-work.
From here, the cooking process became a lot of running back and forth. I put the pasta on, cut the sausage (which was pre-cooked) and started sautéeing the vegetables.
Once the pasta finished cooking, I strained it and finished combining everything else in the pan.
Then: the pasta.
All done! It’s time to serve up and enjoy!
(and time for me to go get lunch!)