Here’s the thing about marriage: it involves compromise about lots of different things. Most things, actually. But not always everything.
Two things that my marriage doesn’t really involve compromise about: TV shows and dinner. Basically because I’m kind of picky about both of these things, but very luckily appear to have married a man who loves all TV shows and all dinners, and generally seems fairly thrilled when one or the other is put in front of him, regardless of the content.
And so I generally make dishes that follow The Rules Of Things I Like To Make – 1) Fast, 2) Easy, 3) Inexpensive – and handle the fact that Kendrick loves spicy foods and I do not by dousing his meals in Sriracha.
Except…sometimes we go out to dinner. And when we do, Kendrick without fail chooses something from the menu that is completely perplexing to me, like…I don’t know, pickled duck sprinkled with jalapeños or something. So he clearly has things that he sort of wishes we were eating, and is just really accommodating about letting me cook what I want. And then is really nice and complimentary about whatever it is that I make. Because he’s nice.
But sometimes, you know, I’d really like to make him what he wants. Even if it’s not what I want.
And so Sunday night I asked him to name an ingredient that he really wishes I’d put into a pasta dish but never have, and he came out with ‘sausage’. Which, oddly enough, I’ve never cooked with before. So: challenge, whee, let’s do it.
And guess what? I totally loved it, too. Horizons expanded, et cetera.
What you need:
1 package pasta of choice (pictured here: mezze penne)
1 package sweet Italian sausage (or sausage of choice)
4-5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
Salt & pepper
What you do:
1. Remove the casings from the sausages and discard. Roll sausage meat into approx 1/4″ balls, as pictured above.
2. Heat some olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, and cook sausage, stirring frequently, until meat is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Remove sausage to a bowl (leaving drippings in pan) and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, cook the bacon, onion, garlic, and red bell pepper, stirring frequently, until the bacon is crispy and the pepper is tender (5 minutes or so should do it).
4. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
5. While the pasta is cooking, add the white wine to the skillet. Let the white wine cook down just slightly, until the smell of alcohol dissipates.
6. Return the sausage to the skillet and add the tomatoes. Season to taste, and cook on low for about ten minutes.
7. When the pasta is cooked, strain and toss in the skillet with the sauce.
Serve with grated parmigiana if desired.