Friday, July 22, 2011

Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper Almond Sauce and Sausage

OK, so if you have been reading this blog for a while now you know I have dubbed Mr. W (my husband) as Mr Picky.  He has a list a mile long of what he doesn't like.  Well, I am happy to report that even though Mr. W hates does not eat roasted red peppers, he devoured this dish.  Em on the other hand threw me for a loop.  I thought she would love it, she seemed to as I was feeding it to her.  Then all of a sudden she starts chucking rigatoni across the room (evidently a 17 month old's thing to do to get my attention) well I finally figured out that she was apparently upset that I was treating her like a 10 month old and did not give her a fork.  "As if Mommy would expect me to eat this divine creation with my hands, ppppft!"  Of course she doesn't talk quite that much yet, but the look and the gesture conveyed the same sentiment.  As soon as she had that fork in her hand she went to town.  So, A+ from all three of us!!!

After making the most delicious and flavorful Roasted Red Peppers yesterday I searched high and low for fabulous recipes to use them in.  That whole virtue divvying up thing, yeah I missed out on the patience (must have been in the kitchen when those virtues were handed out).  So, I am ready to use my peppers.  I found a lot of recipes that looked ok, but only a few that fit the flavor profile I was going for and that I thought my family would adore.  I started out with a flavor and texture that was more subtle than I will share later in the week.

I found a few recipes that had almonds and bread crumbs in them, but none of them sounded good.  I took the idea of almonds and bread crumbs and came up with my own recipe.  I hope you enjoy it.  The nutty flavor with the bread crumbs that have absorbed the roasted pepper juices and olive oil, with the sausage...  Oh heavens, keep me out of the refrigerator.  I have found myself in there eating it cold out of the container already.  Buon appetito!  

NOTE:  If you like a VERY strong roasted red pepper flavor, omit the Italian spices.  Before they were added the pepper flavor was incredible.

Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper Almond Sauce and Sausage

1 pound rigatoni (or ziti would work well here too - a pasta with ridges to catch the sauce)
kosher salt, handful to flavor the pasta water
1 pound smoked sausage (I used Farmer John's)
1 pint jar Roasted Red Peppers (approximately 1 cup) - reserve the liquid and garlic from the jar
3 garlic cloves from pepper jar, minced (or use fresh garlic cloves)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (sliced would work here too)
5 ounce bag of garlic and cheese flavored croutons
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, separated
1/4 cup reserved liquid from pepper jar
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 tablespoon Italian spice mix
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

In a pan over medium high heat, cook sausages.  Remove from heat and place on cutting board.  Slice sausages.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.  Reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

In the bowl of a food processor, blend croutons until they are in crumb form.  Transfer to a bowl for later use.  Refit food processor and blend almonds, once in crumb form transfer them to a separate bowl for later use.  Refit food processor again and blend 1 cup of roasted red peppers.  Once chopped to desired consistency reserve for later use.

In a medium pan, over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and minced garlic.  Cook until slightly browned, add almonds.  Stir until fragrant.

Add peppers to pan, stir occasionally until slowly bubbling, then add olive oil and reserve pepper juices.  Add Italian seasoning, sliced sausages, salt and pepper to taste.  About a pinch of each will do.

Allow to cook together on medium/medium-low for a few minutes.  Add parsley to pan, stir well.  Pour entire mixture over drained rigatoni.  Mix well to combine.

Add in bread crumbs.

Stir again.  Add reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.  Serve immediately.

 (picture of steamy delicious goodness, I could have ate it out of the pot - oh, but I did.  Shhhh!  Don't tell.)

Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted 


  1. I was all over the title when I saw the word almond mixed in there. I have never thought to add that slight crunch with the roasted red pepper sauce but it sounds fabulous! Great idea

  2. I bet the almonds made this amazing. My jaw actually dropped when you said that your man ate this happily! I'm floored. That is soooo exciting. (I'm sure you thought so as well!)

  3. Yay!! This looks SO delicious!! The almonds are intriguing. If everyone of you liked it including Mr. Picky ;-), then it's a go for me!

  4. Thumbs up all around! This looks amazing :) Bookmarked!

  5. It will be fun watching you creatively use all those glorious roasted red peppers! This looks lovely - almonds are an interesting addition.

  6. yum! sounds truly delicious, no wonder mr picky loves this! the addition of almonds and breadcrumbs sounds brilliant!

  7. Red pepper is making a regular appearance in your menus, great. I used to eat ajvar quite often, its a Balkans red pepper sauce. Seeing your dishes I need to buy the sauce or maybe make my own

  8. I've been looking for ideas for all the peppers I've been roasting lately! This fits in perfectly, I like the addition of the almonds in the sauce...and spicy is always good for me!

  9. What great flavors! We are big pasta eaters over here....this looks delicious!

  10. This looks great!! I am telling you I could eat pasta every night. Red peppers are so great to eat in the summer.

  11. Your photo looked so good that I starred this post in my Google Reader immediately!

  12. This is an incredible dish - brilliant idea with the almonds!! Never would have thought of that! Superb post and recipe :)

  13. Looks good! I love roasted red peppers and pairing them with almonds sounds like a taste sensation :) Great recipe!

  14. Love the sound of this and would love to try it unfortunately I do not have a food processor :(

    1. This would be perfect in a blender too! Enjoy.


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