Growing up and still today, Sundays are a special day in my family. It’s a day we come together to eat, and drink, and relax. Although I don’t live in St. Louis, I carry on our Sunday tradition by preparing home cooked meals, sometimes starting in the morning (slow cooked meats and stews) or early afternoon (meatballs and bolognese) attempting to draw the process out as long as possible. Often, when a recipe is less complex and time consuming, I’ll bake banana bread, pumpkin bread, or chocolate chip cookies. Things are most enjoyed when they aren’t pressing or required, which is why Sunday cooking brings me ultimate joy. I thoughtfully choose my recipe in bed over morning coffee. I peruse the grocery aisles slowly, taking more time than necessary to review my options and select my ingredients. I start my recipe at leisure and enjoy the afternoon at home; football in the background and candles burning in the foreground. Comfort food. Comfort sounds. Comfort days.
I spent this past weekend in the mountains, skiing Beaver Creek and Vail. It was a cold weekend and not even my four pocket heaters that I had stashed around my body could keep me warm. I got back to Denver in the early afternoon and went to the grocery store craving something warm, something hearty, and something other than traditional American comfort food (Beef Stew, Pot Roast, Tenderloin and Mashed Potatoes) that I’ve prepared the past three Sundays. Since lasagna is a Sunday staple in my house, I decided to try out a new Italian recipe. What came to my mind was a pasta dish full of flavor….Italian Sausage, Peppers, and tomato cream sauce, mmmm yes…so I googled those three words and found a great recipe that I’d love to share-
- 1 (12 ounce) package bow tie (Farfalle) pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage(I used hot Italian Sausage)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style chopped tomatoes, drained
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I substituted with half and half)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (I substituted with basil)
- 1 red pepper chopped (I added this and it was delicious)
- 1 tablespoon of flour (I added this to thicken the sauce)
- Italian Seasoning (I added this to the sauce towards the end for added flavor)
- Freshly Grated Parmesan
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
- Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly brown. Stir in onion, red pepper, and garlic, and cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, cream, Italian seasoning, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour as needed to thicken.
- Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through.
- Sprinkle with basil, I used an entire plastic package of fresh basil which I sliced and added to the sauce fifteen minutes before serving.
- Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (lots)
There were a few complaints on the website that the sauce lacked flavor and I can assure you I did not have this problem. As I suggested, you should (must) add the red pepper, season the meat with salt and pepper, season the sauce with Italian seasoning, add in fresh basil and make sure to add the pasta to the sauce. This dish is not meant to have the sauce poured over the noodles at the last minute, allow the pasta to soak up the flavorful sauce for about 15 minutes prior to serving. If you follow my suggestions, I can assure you a simple yet delicious home-cooked dish that will deeply satisfy your family, or your boyfriend, or your neighbor, or your maintenance man, or your fish.
For all you calorie conscious ladies (and gents) out there, I need to be completely transparent by saying I usually give this stuff away come Monday morning. I can’t keep this stuff in my house, are you kidding me?