Monday, November 3, 2008

Penne with Sausage and Peppers

On the day we delivered our youngest to her college dorm I dried my tears and made a promise to myself - I swore I'd never again sit in a moving vehicle with anyone who was under voting age. No more bickering or piercing music. No stray socks or eau de young athlete. Just Bach, van Morrison and me. I was, of course, infirm of purpose and as the grandbabies arrived I reneged. Well, I'm going to try the promise thing again. When the polls close tomorrow, I plan to swear off the telephone. You know how your right hip protrudes more than the left from hefting babies on that side? Well, my neck is beginning to skew right. For better or worse, I'm a political junkie and I've been on the phone - for 10 months now - trying to persuade folks to support my candidate. I am philosophically bound to the professor and while I admire the courage of the warrior I could not vote for him. I shared that and my reasons with all the folks I talked to. The best part of these past ten months has been the people, particularly the young people, I've met. I'm a product of the movements of the sixties; heady, special times when people felt empowered and believed they could change the world. And we did - a little - but the promise of that time was never fully realized and many of us were left with the feeling that our generation had the last of the wine. We were wrong. Something is happening; the air is charged and you can feel the static as the torch is finally passed to those who, hopefully, will finish the work that was left undone and take up that which has yet to be addressed. That whispered Yes We Can has become a roar, so, I'll be on the phone for two more days and because those with whom I share the phone bank have to eat I won't come empty handed. This casserole x 4 will feed the multitudes and make them smile. It's easy, cheap and delicious. Give it a try!

Penne with Sausage and Peppers

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 large red bell pepper cut in 1/2 x 2-inch strips
1 large yellow bell pepper cut in 1/2 x 2-inch strips
1 large green bell pepper cut in 1/2 x 2-inch strips
3 cloves minced garlic
1 can (15-oz.) Italian stewed tomatoes, pureed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried fennel seed
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound penne
About 1 cup pasta water
Chopped parsley or basil

1) Heat olive oil in a very large skillet until it shimmers. Add sausage and brown. Remove sausage and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces. Return to skillet. Stir in onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add red, yellow and green peppers; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer or until fragrant. Add pureed stewed tomatoes , oregano, and fennel seeds. Bring to a simmer; cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
2) Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Stir in 3 tablespoons salt and the penne. Cook until tender but firm, about 9 to 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
3) Add the pasta to the skillet containing the sausage and peppers. Toss to coat penne with sauce. If the pasta appears dry add pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, to create a smooth, clinging sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley or basil. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.


Anonymous said...

Sing it, sister. It is in the air, and I can feel it, too.

I made a donation today, for the first time in my life, to the Professor's campaign. Proudly, and with hope.

Well said.


Cathy said...

What a wonderful post, Mary. I have a lump in my throat as we approach this historic day. Those of us who remember the marches and the troubles of the 60's know that the country is close to realizing what we fought for back then. Something is definitely happening and its thrilling to be a part of it.

Maria said...

Great recipe! I am excited for tomorrow! I already voted early but will still be glued to the TV to see the outcome!

flowermom said...

No need calling me, I believe we can too! Great sounding recipe BTW!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Thank you Jules, Cathy, Maria and Flowermom for understanding that we are more than food and recipes here. Blogs are very personal things. This one was never meant to be commercial. It was conceived for my daughters - an oral history of sorts to share with them and other friends who asked to be included. My life has been a real journey and I want my girls to know the people and places that I met along the way. I often joke that all the important messages of my life have been written in crayon on the back of envelopes or paper towels. The extension of that is the most important conversations of my life have been held in my kitchen or that of others I have loved. Sooo...there will be times when what we say here is not what folks want to hear. It's not my intention to make them uncomfortable. But life would be very boring indeed if we were all alike. My personal version of hell is a place where I'm stuck with people exactly like myself. I celebrate difference and a joust of ideas. We joust here!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Great pasta.I will be glued to the Tv tomorrow night and then hope whomever wins changes things for the good.

Veronica said...

What a nice post...I think the polls are going to be very crowded tomorrow! Love that sausage and pepper penne.

Jenny said...

Oh my, this pasta is making me so hungry! It is beautiful. I am loving the new pic of your cutie pie too!

Aggie said...

This is total comfort food for me! Love the pasta!

Hope has won! :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

Indeed it has, Aggie. Indeed it has!

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