A favorite recipe, comforting and hearty, full of flavor, and fancy enough to serve to dinner guests! This dish goes wonderfully with a simple arugula salad, crusty bread, and your favorite red wine (I served a sangiovese).
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Marsala wine
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound rigatoni pasta (I use whole wheat penne)
5 ounces goat cheese crumbles (optional)
freshly grated parmesan
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, 7-10 minutes. Remove sausages from pan.
Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the bell peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and basil and cook 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated, then add the Marsala, tomatoes with their juice, and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Bring to a simmer.
Cut the sausages into 4-6 pieces each. Return the sausages to the pan. Simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the thickened sauce, tossing to combine. Stir in goat cheese, if using, and toss until cheese is melted. Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from Everyday Pasta, by Giada De Laurentiis.