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Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers and Caramelized Onions

This one-dish meal is a comforting combination of rigatoni, Italian sausage, roasted peppers and caramelized onions. The flavors are a nice balance of sweet and savory, with just a little spice from the hot sausage. The ingredients are cooked separately, then tossed with the pasta just before serving so they retain their individual flavors.

Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers and Caramelized Onions

Rigatoni with Sausage, Peppers and Caramelized Onions

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage
  • 10 ounces rigatoni
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 lbs yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a large pot of salted water on to boil.

Spray a sheet of heavy-duty foil with nonstick spray. Pierce the sausages several times with a fork, place them in a single layer on the foil and fold into a sealed packet. Roast for 45 minutes, opening the foil for the last 10 minutes to allow for a little browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Halve the sausages lengthwise, then cut crosswise into bite-sized pieces.

While the sausage is cooking, line a baking sheet with foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the peppers in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender and barely browned, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Once both the sausage and peppers are cooking, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, combine with the butter and oil and cover the pan to cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times. Remove the cover, raise the heat to medium and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring often and loosening any browned bits that may accumulate on the bottom of the pan. The onions should turn a deep golden color. Transfer them to a separate dish and set aside.

When the onions are just about done, add the rigatoni to the boiling water, cook according to package directions and drain.

To finish and assemble the dish, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes (do not brown). Whisk in the vinegar and mustard, add the sausage, bell peppers and caramelized onions. Combine well, then toss together with the pasta and parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe Notes ~
Read our article: How to Make Caramelized Onions for more information on the technique.

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