Are you the type of person who only goes to baseball games for that huge Italian hoagie stuffed with sausage and peppers? We’re with you. This week, our chefs took the beloved dish from stadium fare to elegant weeknight dinner with a few delicious twists. First, they dropped the hoagie and replaced it with twisty cavatappi pasta. Its nooks are perfect for clinging to silky roasted garlic tomato sauce studded with crispy bits of sausage. Bell pepper is roasted to bring out depth and sweetness, then thinly sliced and swirled in. Plus, there’s cheese both in the sauce and sprinkled on top. It’s safe to say this dish knocks it out of the park.
Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.
Italian Pork Sausage
Cream Sauce Base(ContainsMilk)
• Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and dry all produce. • Halve bell pepper; discard stem and seeds. Peel garlic. Thinly slice chili. Remove sausage* from casing; discard casing.
• Drizzle bell pepper halves with oil and season with salt and pepper; place cut sides down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. • Place garlic clove in the center of a small piece of foil. Drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Cinch into a packet and place on same sheet. • Roast until pepper is lightly charred and garlic is softened, 20-25 minutes.
• Once water is boiling, add cavatappi to pot. Cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water (2 cups for 4 servings), then drain.
• While pasta cooks, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat into pieces, until browned and cooked through, 4-6 minutes. (TIP: If there’s excess grease in your pan, carefully pour it out.) If desired, stir in a pinch of chili; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds. • Add tomato paste and ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water (¾ cup for 4 servings). Simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes more. Turn off heat.
• Transfer roasted bell pepper and garlic to a cutting board. Thinly slice bell pepper into strips; mash garlic with a fork. • Return pan with sauce to low heat; stir in garlic. Pour in cream sauce. (TIP: Cut top off carton to open fully; transfer contents using a spoon or spatula to scrape sauce from carton sides.) • Stir in bell pepper, cavatappi, half the Parmesan (save the rest for serving), and 2 TBSP butter (4 TBSP for 4 servings). TIP: If needed, add more reserved cooking water a splash at a time until pasta is coated in sauce.
• Season pasta with salt and pepper and divide between bowls. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and, if desired, a pinch of remaining chili. Serve.