Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rigatoni with Sweet Peppers and Turkey Sausage Ragù

     A Hearty Healthy Italian Style Pasta!
     The Italian word Ragù usually refers to a sauce that is stewed or stewed meat for pasta.  There are many classic Italian Ragù recipes that never change.  Many of the traditional Italian Ragù recipes are made with pork, duck, beef or veal.  In recent years, turkey has become a popular alternative healthy meat option in Italy.  Turkey has more flavor than chicken and it is easily adapted to traditional pork sausage recipes.  Italian style Turkey Sausage actually tastes great and it is much lighter on the tummy than pork sausage.  
     Today's Rigatoni with Sweet Peppers and Turkey Sausage Ragù recipe is made with traditional Italian techniques and ingredients, but this recipe is modified for Italian style fresh turkey sausage.  Soffritto vegetables, broth, tomato and red wine create a nice traditional Italian stewing sauce flavor that goes well with turkey sausage.  Olive oil replaces traditional pork lard for the sauté medium.  Sweet Orange Bell Peppers added late in the recipe give this Ragù Sauce Pasta a complimentary garden fresh flavor.  The result is a comfortable hearty Sausage Ragù Pasta with greatly reduced levels of fat and cholesterol.  In modern times, this is the kind of pasta that health conscious people seek.    

     Rigatoni with Sweet Peppers and Turkey Sausage Ragù:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty portion.
     A Ragù does not necessarily have to simmer all day, especially if the Ragù is a sauce for cooked sausage.  The stewing technique does mellow the flavor of the sauce.
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of blended olive oil.
     Add 2 fresh Italian style Sweet Turkey Sausages that weigh 5 to 6 ounces apiece.  (The word "sweet" means sweet mild peppers were used to flavor the sausage instead of hot spicy peppers.)
     Sauté till the sausages are almost fully cooked and lightly browned.
     Step 2:  Add 6 strips of Sweet Orange Bell Pepper that are about 1/2" wide.
     Sauté till the sausages are fully cooked and the peppers start to become tender.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Remove the peppers and sausages from the pan and set them aside on a platter.
     Discard the oil from the pan.
     Step 4:  Place the sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Add 3 tablespoons of small diced carrot.  (Brunoise - 1/8" dice)
     Add 3 tablespoons of small diced onion.
     Add 2 tablespoons of small diced celery.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Briefly sauté till the soffritto vegetables just start to cook and become aromatic.
     Step 5:  Add 2 tablespoons of imported Italian tomato paste.
     Stir till the tomato paste just starts to lightly caramelize.
     Step 6:  Add 1 1/4 cups of minced seeded fresh ripe plum tomatoes.  (The tomatoes can be minced in a food processor.)
     Sauté till the tomatoes start to become tender.
     Step 7:  Add 1/2 cup of dry red wine.
     Scrape and deglaze the pan as the sauce comes to a gentle boil.
     Step 8:  Add 2 cups of beef broth.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Step 9:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cut the reserved cooked turkey sausages into large bite size slices and return them to the pan.
     Add 1 pinch of rosemary.
     Add 1 pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 pinch of rubbed sage.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced Italian parsley.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.  (About 2 pinches.)
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium thin consistency that easily clings to the sausages.
     Keep the ragù warm over very low heat.
     *The pasta can be cooked while the ragù sauce simmers!
     Step 10:  Cook 1 portion of Rigatoni Pasta in a pot of boiling water till it is al dente.
     *Use a wooden spoon or a pasta stick to occasionally stir the Rigatoni, so it does not stick to the pot or break.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Step 11:  Add the hot Rigatoni Pasta to the ragù sauce.
     Add the reserved sautéed Sweet Orange Pepper Strips.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 12:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Mound the Rigatoni with Sweet Peppers and Turkey Sausage Ragù in a large pasta bowl.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of minced Italian Parsley over the pasta.
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.
     Serve with a ramekin of fine grated Parmigiana Cheese on the side.
     Viola!  A hearty healthy turkey sausage ragù pasta!

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