Sausage and mushroom pasta with pecorino romano – one pot and one skillet. Moderate knife skills required, and I’ll assume we all know that pasta should be cooked until it is al dente and no further, on penalty of death.
1 onion (or one small onion), diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1″ strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper
15-20 cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 pound fresh chicken/turkey sausage, Italian-flavored, casings removed
1 pound dried pasta (farfalle, rigatoni)
Â¾ cup to 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid, returning the pasta to the cooking pot. Ideally, you want the pasta to be done just after the following process is completed.
2. In 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet, sweat onion and red bell pepper until translucent and just thinking about browning, 7-8 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and cook 30-60 seconds more.
3. Move pan contents to edges. Add mushrooms to center (using more olive oil if required) and cook until they release their liquid and brown slightly, 5-10 minutes.
4. Move mushrooms to pan edges and add sausage, cooking thoroughly. I like to let the meat sit when I first add it so that it browns on one side, then I break it up into small bits and sautÃ© it.
5. Add the skillet’s contents and the cheese to the pasta with Â½ cup of the cooking liquid, stirring quickly to form a sauce using the residual heat from the pasta and the liquid. If the resulting sauce is too dry, add some of the remaining cooking liquid just until the pasta is coated and wet, but do not add so much that you get a pool of liquid on the bottom of the pot. Add a few turns of fresh black pepper and serve.