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, June 2, 2010

Penne in the Style of Sorrento with Grilled Peppers, Onions and Italian Sausage

Here is a nice twist on a a popular Italian dish, "sausage and peppers with penne". For this dish, penne pasta is usually tossed or served with sauteed Italian sausage and bell peppers, onions and garlic. What I often do however is grill my Italian sausage links (I prefer hot, but mild or sweet sausage would also work great), as well as my vegetables, which I served along side a penne tossed in a cheesed-up classic marinara sauce, that I call penne, in the style of Sorrento, after a gnocchi dish I had there!

First I'll start with a simple recipe for a basic marinara sauce, the mother of all Italian tomato sauces. With that being said, marinara is actually a "mother" sauce as it can be transformed into many other tomato based sauces with particular additions, such as meat, for a bolognasse, or cream, or into a pizza sauce or a vodka sauce, or as I will do, add fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese to make a pink and cheesy tomato sauce.

Basic Marinara Sauce

In a sauce pan, heat over medium heat:
- 1/4 cup of olive oil 
Add, and saute until tender:
- 1 large onion, diced fine
- 1 carrot, diced fine
- 1 rib of celery, diced fine

Then add:
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 large (28 ounce) of good quality crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp of dried Italian herbs (mix of oregano, thyme, marjoram and basil)
- 1tsp of salt and pepper.

Bring sauce to a low simmer and let cook, uncovered for at least 30 minutes. A little longer wouldn't hurt.

Penne in the Style of Sorrento (serves 4)

Cook 1 pound of penne pasta until it is al dente (still with bite).

While the pasta is cooking, ladle 4 cups of marinara into a deep saute pan. Bring to a low simmer and add:
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
- 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3-4 basil leaves, chopped
- 2 Tbsp of fresh Italian parsley, chopped (reserve some for garnish)

Add the hot pasta to the cheesy marinara sauce and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley

 To complete the meal, grilled Italian sausages and vegetables couldn't be easier...or tastier.
Simply slice:
- 1 large red onion, red bell pepper and green bell pepper. Toss in a little olive oil and grill in a grilling basket over a medium flame until tender and carmalized. Add a pinch of salt and pepper while grilling.
At the same time of cooking the veggies, grill your Italian sausages. Turn frequently so all sides get scorched, and cook until the juices run clear.

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