Use mild or hot Italian sausage, according to your preference, in this updated classic. We call for red bell peppers but you can use green or one of each color. Plain spaghetti can replace the whole-wheat, too.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound mild or hot Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
2 tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
How to Make It
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove. When the sausage is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2-inch slices.
Add the onion, peppers, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes longer. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, broth, vermouth, the reserved sausage and any accumulated juices, the parsley, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain and toss with the sausage-and-pepper mixture and the Parmesan. Serve with additional Parmesan.
Wine Recommendation: The earthy Italian feel of this dish and the acidity from the tomatoes make a nebbiolo-based wine from the Piedmont region of Italy a nice choice. Look for a lighter version such as Nebbiolo d'Alba.
Quick From Scratch Pasta
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I didn't have any vermouth and didn't want to open a bottle of white wine, so I used vodka - seemed to work just fine. Added mushrooms with the peppers, used yellow and red since tri-color were on sale. Also, mixed hot and mild sausages. It was a hit!