Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
This spicy, heavily smoked pork sausage is seasoned slowly and cooked over pecan wood and sugarcane to achieve its distinctive flavor and firm texture. Andouille is sold ready-to-eat, with or without heating. Although it is fully cooked, it must be refrigerated. Commonly associated with jambalaya and gumbo, andouille can be used in place of any spicy sausage, like hot Italian sausage or pepperoni. An Italian-American classic gets a dose of Southern flavor. Other than cooking the pasta, you can pull this casserole together in a single skillet, making it ideal for busy weeknights.
Serves 8 (serving size: about 2 cups)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare pasta according to package directions, reducing boiling time to 8 minutes.
2. Cook sausage, peppers, onion, and garlic in hot oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high, stirring often, until vegetables are soft and sausage has begun to brown slightly, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium, and add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, stirring until melted. Stir in cooked pasta. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
3. Bake in preheated oven until mixture is bubbly and cheese is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.