Orecchiette with Sausage, Onions, and Peppers

Also known as Italian Frying peppers. Cubanelle peppers are large and blocky. They are light green in appearance and they mature red. The thin walls of this pepper make it an excellent choice for frying. This pepper is not hot.

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16 oz. package of shaped pasta, such as orecchiette or shells
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
2 cubanelle peppers (or other mild green peppers, such as pasilla or poblano), cored, seeded and diced
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup (20 leaves) fresh basil, torn or shredded

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add the salt (at least 2 Tbsp.) and pasta, and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a very large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and all of the sausage. Brown and crumble the sausage, about 7-8 minutes. Remove the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Drain off the pan drippings, leaving 3 Tbsp. in the pan. Add the garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and cook until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Once tender, add the tomatoes and heat through. Add the sausage back to the pan and combine. Season the mixture with a bit of salt and fresh black pepper. Add the sausage mixture to the pasta, and stir in cheese, parsley and basil.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Recipe from The Cookbook Critic.