A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.

This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sausage, Peppers and Penne

A Wicked Scoff has been on the road quite a bit recently, as I have been all over New England for my archaeological consulting work. While the weather, hiking and fall scenery was awesome, I am glad to be home again, cooking my own meals. I did however have many good scoffs at restaurants, pizza dives and diners in various towns, eating many bowls of clam chowder and oven toasted grinders (aka subs or hoagies), as well as some really good Thai food, an incredible grass fed organic black angus burger, farm raised elk, and too many grilled Reuben sandwiches to count. Some of the best places I ate was the Common Man's "Boiler Room" in Plymouth New Hampshire and the Black Door in Montpelier Vermont.

This weekend I will be cooking up a storm of my own, and have some new favorites dishes to share, notably a roasted butternut squash soup with caramelized shallots and a splash of Octoberfest beer. In the meantime, here is a quick and simple recipe for one of my all time favorite pasta dishes which I often make during the work week. Make sure to make enough for leftovers to bring to work.

Italian Sausage, Peppers and Penne

For this meal, I use hot Italian sausage, but you can use sweet sausage just the same. I like red bell peppers for this, but it is fine to use any colour of bell pepper, green, red, orange or yellow. The same holds true for the pasta, use whatever you have. Penne is classic for sausage and peppers, so that's what I like (I use a multigrain). Other than that, some olive oil, garlic, red onion, fresh parsley, and real Parmesan cheese are all the ingredients you'll need. Pretty simple.

To begin, bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a deep skillet, preferably one with a lid.
Add 1 pound of sausage , cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remover the lid and continue to simmer until the water has evaporated. Continue to cook the sausage until browned on all sides. Be sure not to poke, prod and pierce the sausage. Let the fat, flavour and juices remain inside where they belong. Once the sausages have browned nicely, set aside in a warm oven while the onions, garlic and peppers cook.

While the sausages are cooking, prepare your vegetables and get a large pot of salted water on the boil. Follow package directions for the pasta and cook until al dente.

For the veggies, thinly slice
- 1 large red onion, halved and sliced
- 2 large/3 medium red bell peppers

Once the sausage is cooked, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and set heat to medium high
Saute the onions and peppers until tender and slightly caramelized...about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced/smashed
- 1 tsp of dried oregano or Italian seasoning

Cook for a couple of minutes and return sausage to the skillet. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the skillet.

Add a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.
Plate the pasta, and two sausages per serving.
Grate a healthy portion of Parmesan cheese over the plate a,d add more freshly ground pepper.


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