Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Creamy Sausage and Pepper Pasta

So as many of you know, I was born and raised in South Philly.  21st and Emily Streets to be exact.  I miss that old neighborhood with all my heart.  I could wander the streets all day without a care in the world.  Just me, my friends the daily $1.00 allowance from my Daddy and I was set.  Came home at 12 for lunch, then right back out until 5.00 for dinner.....3 on Sundays of course!!  Nothing was better than a walk down Synder Avenue in the summer to Chuck's for a chocolate water ice and a soft pretzel.  Running to Rosica's to get my parents cigarettes (with a note) and buying myself a pack of Chicklets.  Walking up the steps to St. Edmonds and feeling like royalty sitting in that gorgeous sanctuary with my grandmother at Saturday night mass.  The memories are always there, even though the neighborhood might be gone.

One thing that's for certain is my love of food.  Most people thank their families for passing down the delicious traditions and recipes.  And trust me, I thank my family forever for everything I was exposed to and taught.  But I would be a fool if I didn't thank South Philly.  I may live in the 'burbs now, but I'm only a few minutes drive away.  South Philly is the greatest place in the world to me.  I've been to NYC, I've been to LA.  Nothing compares.  My heart is there and always will be.  More importantly, my stomach is there.

One of my weaknesses is sausage and peppers.  I dont think you can drive through South Philly without that smell coming from somewhere.  White style, red style, on a roll, over polenta......doesn't matter.  I love to eat it and love to cook it.  I even got in the top 3 on MasterChef with my sausage and peppers over polenta!!  I mean, if Gordon Ramsay loves your food, you got it.  Am I right or am I right?  (toots own horn)


Anyway, I'd eat it 5 times a week anyway I could get it.  I'm always looking for creative ways to incorporate those awesome flavors into new and exciting dishes.  Here is one I am most proud of.  It is rich, creamy and belly busting without breaking the bank.  I know you guys will love it!!

Creamy Sausage and Pepper Pasta

Prep  10 minutes
Cook  25 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 box medium size shells 
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp dried pepperoncini
1 tsp salt
1 lb ground Italian sweet sausage
2 medium bell peppers, any color
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP butter
1 tsp dried basil
1 cup beef stock
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmiggiano 

Method

Bring water to boil in a large pot for the pasta.  

In a large, deep skillet, add olive oil over medium high heat.  Add dried pepperoncini and allow it to toast up.  Throw in chopped onion, minced garlic, sliced bell peppers and 1 tsp of salt.  Sautee until soft and translucent.  

Add the loose sausage to the mixture, breaking the sausage up with the back of a wooden spoon until you get nice crumbles.  Throw in butter and work into mixture until melted.  

Add the beef stock, dried basil, black pepper and a whole can of diced tomatoes.  Allow to simmer for five minutes on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.  

Drop the pasta into boiling and heavily salted water and give a good stir to prevent sticking.

Add heavy cream to pasta sauce and allow to simmer gently until pasta is about 2 minutes from being al dente.  

Drain pasta and pour directly into the sauce.  Crank heat up to high and stir continuously until the pasta is completely done and has absorbed some liquid.  Turn off the heat and pour in the parmiggiano.  Mix gently until completely incorporated.  Top with some freshly grated parmiggiano and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish it off.  

ENJOY....


Krissi Biasiello is a native of South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Cooking since she was a little girl with her large Italian family, she decided to leave her paralegal job and shoot for the stars on FOX’s cooking competition show, MasterChef.  She beat out 43,000 homecooks across America and came in 4th place.  Under the scrutiny of Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, Krissi has made her mark in the culinary world.  She now shares her recipes with all of you!  Her rustic, homestyle take on everything will win you over and will definitely “get your asses in the kitchen”. 

To contact Krissi for appearances, in-home demonstrations, catering and more, you can find her below. 




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