Sausage and peppers - a classic flavor combo that really can’t be beat! Whether served on some sort of toasted bread, spooned over pasta, or stewed together and served as a simple side dish, this is one pairing that everyone seems to love in one form or another.
For every written recipe for sausage and peppers, there must be 100 unwritten variations, passed down over time from one person to the next. Here, I tried an unusual variation, roasting and pureeing the peppers, and blending them into a creamy sauce with bits of hot Italian sausage, shallot, pecorino romano, and flavorful, meaty mushrooms.
Try this recipe when you need a break from the same old sausage and peppers!
Orechiette with Sausage, King Oyster Mushrooms, and Roasted Red Pepper Crème
Splash olive oil
8 oz / 230 g hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
8 oz / 230 g king oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 large shallot, minced
2-3 red bell peppers, roasted*
1 cup / 240 ml dry white wine
½ c. / 115 g coarsely grated pecorino romano
Handful basil, cut chiffonade-style
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra basil leaves, to garnish
Cook the pasta in salted water. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, then add the sausage. Brown the sausage for a minute or two, then add the mushrooms and the shallot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the sausage is browned, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large chunks of sausage into smaller bits.
While the sausage, mushrooms, and shallots are cooking, put the roasted red bell peppers and the white wine in a blender or food processor, and puree until mo large chunks remain and the mixture is somewhat emulsified.
Once the sausage has cooked, add the red pepper and wine puree to the pot with the sausage. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or so, stirring frequently to ensure that the sauce is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Next, add the pecorino and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the pecorino has melted and blended completely into the sauce.
Finally, drain the pasta and add the cooked, drained pasta to the pot with the sauce (if the mixture seems a little dry, add a small splash of the pasta cooking water). Stir until each piece of pasta is coated with sauce, then add in the basil, salt and pepper. Give the pasta mix a few gentle stirs to work in the basil, then serve in a decorative bowl or on individual plates, garnished with the extra basil leaves.
* As I’ve said many a time, roasted red peppers in a jar ALWAYS taste like roasted red peppers in a jar. Roasting them yourself gives a much better flavor, and it is very easy. Click here for instructions on how to roast red peppers!
Nutrition facts: Serves four. 858 calories, 11.5 g fat, 100 g carbohydrates, 35 g protein