Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers
Freshly roasted peppers give this hearty pasta a smoky taste. If you like, you can use jarred peppers, thinly sliced, instead of making your own, and skip step 1. To skin the peppers, char them and then cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will produce steam and make the skins come off easily.
- 2 medium red bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
- 2 medium yellow bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat broiler. Place peppers, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 4 inches from heat until charred, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; steam 2 to 3 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off pepper skins, reserving any juices in bowl. Thinly slice peppers crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; return to bowl. Set aside.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add roasted peppers; cook until heated through.
Transfer sausage mixture to bowl; add pasta, butter, reserved pasta water, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.