Bucatini Con Salsicce Sausage Pickled Peperoncini

There are many spaghetti recipes out there—mostly those that includes sausages, tomatoes and some kind of pasta. That’s what we call the Italian influence. Suddenly, everybody is nuts about spaghetti.

This Greek-style recipe is from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, preferably without fennel seeds

1/3 cup whole pickled peperoncini, drained, preferably Tuscan-style

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

3 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 pound bucatini (or another long pasta)

1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, plus more for passing

Procedure:

- Slit the casings of the sausages lengthwise and turn the meat out into a bowl. Break it up into small pieces with your hands. Remove the stems and seeds of the peppers, then slice into 1/4-inch rings, crosswise.

- Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic slices and cook until golden, then add the sausage mixture. Spread it out, breaking up any clumps, and cook until the moisture has mostly evaporated. When the sausage begins to render and sizzle, add the pepperoncini and cook for an additional minute or two.

- Pour in the tomatoes plus 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook until the liquid dramatically reduces by half, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. It should be a thick enough consistency to cling well to the pasta.

- In the meantime, bring a large pot of salty water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente. When it it done cooking, drain and add it to the skillet, reserving some pasta cooking water. Toss the pasta and sauce together for another minute, adding pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce. Turn off the heat and transfer to bowls. Top with Pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

Most recipes use red pepper flakes like hot red pepper flakes, chili flakes or crushed chili flakes to spice up a dish. But if you have the pepperoncini hidden somewhere in your cupboard, better make use if it since it provides a better heat and oomph than what chili flakes can.

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