|Spaghetti with Sausage and Peppers|
Hello? Are you still there? I haven't published a dish in almost a month but I have still been busy working. My anniversary was a couple of weeks ago but Mrs. Stuntman and I decided to forgo a dinner at a nice restaurant in exchange for the opportunity to upgrade our cell phones. While Mrs. Stuntman got a newer version of an iPhone, I made the leap from a $12 flip phone to a Samsung Galaxy S5. This is relevant here because, in addition to opening an instagram account for this website, the pictures of this dish were taken with it primarily because it has a 16-megapixel camera which is better than the 12-megapixel quality of my point-and-shoot camera I had been using.
I also attended a photography seminar which was held through my local parks and recreation department which was moderated by Duke Conrad who's an award-winning nature photographer. I encourage you to check out his portfolios at 500px.com and flickr.
The third update is that I have re-written my About Me page. In it, I summarize a new direction here from execution-focused challenges to flavor profile-focused challenges. As such, I will be announcing some format changes. I'll start with the inspiration behind the dish, then the dish details (which will include the recipe) and finish with some final thoughts. This dish will be my first under the new format.
Inspiration Behind the Dish
A contributing factor in why I went so long without publishing a here is because of Mrs. Stuntman's contributions to the dinner table as of late. She has been purchasing a lot of prepared food. Most of it is the type of food that is already fully-cooked and the only thing needed is to reheat and serve. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with these items but it's just not appropriate to publish here at face value. So, while I was rummaging around the refrigerator on a recent evening, it occurred to me that the smoked mozzarella with artichoke and garlic chicken sausages could be used in a classic Italian pairing of sausage and peppers.
I adapted this epicurious recipe to accomodate a few ingredient substitutions in addition to the sausages noted above. First, I substituted spaghetti for the bucatini simply because I didn't want to pay the additional dollar for the bucatini. Bucatini is the same shape as spaghetti with the exception of a hole running through the pasta so it resembles a straw or a hose. Second, I puréed my tomatoes instead of crushing them by hand. I also substituted fresh oregano leaves for the dried and used regular parmesan instead of the Grana Padano. This dish would easily fit onto any casual Italian menu.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces smoked mozzarella with artichoke and garlic chicken sausages (approximately 3 links), casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, puréed
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
Red pepper flakes
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. In a large pot, bring to a boil at least 4 quarts of salted water to a boil over high heat. Separately in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the sausage and break it up into bite size pieces until well browned, approximately 4 minutes. To the sausage, add the onion and peppers to sweat and adjusting the heat as needed, approximately 8 minutes.
2. Add in the garlic and stir until it becomes redolent, one or two minutes. Deglaze with the white wine, scraping up any brown bits and reducing for minute or two. Add in the tomato purée, 2 cups of the pasta water, then season with salt, red pepper and oregano. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the sauce reduces and becomes flavorful. Approximately 10 minutes in, drop the spaghetti into the boiling water and cook for two or three minutes less than the box instructions direct. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve 1 cup of the water, then drain and add to the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce and the parsley. Serve in warmed bowls garnished with Parmesan.
While not my most creative effort, it still was well balanced and perfect for a quick weeknight meal.