There's nothing like the smell of sausages mixing with onions and peppers outside Fenway Park. We'd already eaten supper, so I passed by the vendors (as I tend to do) as we headed in to hear the Landmark Orchestra give a special concert at the old ball yard. But the sausage aroma lingered, and I had a good sausage on hand, so the next night's supper was Ballpark Pasta. The sausage and the well-suited wine I served with the dish both came from Pairings Wine and Food.
1 large, good quality sausage (I used D'Artagnan Andouille)
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
up to 1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp olive oil
handful fresh herbs (I used mix of sage, oregano & basil)
12 ozs short pasta (I used elbow, rigatoni is good option too)
handful of Parmesan cheese, extra to serve
The sausage was pre-cooked, so I started by just browning it a bit in a large skillet, that I'd sprayed with cooking oil. After it was well browned, about 5 minutes, remove the sausage and set aside to cool. When cool enough, slice the sausage first in half lengthwise, then cross-wise to create semi-circles. Start boiling water for the pasta at same time sausage is browning, and cook according to package directions.
Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil in the skillet, heat on medium. Add the onion, saute until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and garlic, continue to saute. Add the herbs. Gradually add the chicken broth (or white wine would do too) as needed to keep a bit of liquid in the pan. When the peppers have softened, about 5 more minutes, add the sausage back into the skillet to re-heat and let the flavors meld.
Drain the pasta when cooked to your liking, and toss with the remaining tbsp olive oil. Add the sausage/onion mixture to the pasta, stir in well to fully coat the pasta with the sauce. Add the cheese & serve!
Notes: I find many pasta with sausage recipes call for a pound of sausage--which is too much sausage for my liking. On this one and many others I like to follow Thomas Jefferson's advice to use meat as flavoring for vegetables (and pasta--which Jefferson was the first to import to the U.S.). Adding a green with some bitterness would be a nice addition, kale or broccoli rabe come to mind.
Wine Pairing: "Meaty" is the first word that comes to mind for the '07 P. Lesec Costieres de Nimes that I served with the Ballpark Pasta. As someone who likes a good, hearty red wine, that is a complement. In fact, when I first tasted the wine I thought it would go well with sausage, and it did prove to be a good match. The wine has a peppery element which picked up the spicy element in the Andouille sausage. The wine comes from an AOC region in the Western Rhone, and is Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend.