Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spicy Pasta in Puttanesca Sauce


This is a easy and perfect blend of a touch of spicy and the ultimate blend of savory.  It comes together pretty quick and is a great midweek meal or perfect when you're entertaining unexpected guests.  You won't want to walk away and will drool waiting to eat the leftovers!

If you're lucky enough to have a Trader Joe's in your area, stock up on their Puttanesca Sauce!  So much easier than making it yourself and like all of Trader Joe's other products, it's the REAL DEAL!

2 jars Trader Giotto's Puttanesca Sauce
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 lb. hot Italian sausage (I used Johnsonville)
1/4 teaspoon read pepper flakes
1 lb. pasta, cooked al dente
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large high-sided sk
illet cook the pancetta until golden brown.  Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Return the same skillet to the stove and brown the Italian sausage. If the sausage is in casings, remove it from the casing as you add it to the skillet.  Move the sausage around with a wooden spoon to kind of chop it up into small pieces.  Halfway through the cooking process, rub the red pepper flakes in the palm of your hand to "wake them up" and sprinkle them over the cooking sausage.  Don't be timid about adding the red pepper flakes, it will add just another small dimension of flavor and slight heat to the dish and won't blast you out of your chair.

Once the sausage is completely cooked, drain the fat from the skillet.  Return the skillet with the sausage to the stove, lower the heat to simmer and add the two jars of Puttanesca Sauce.  Place a lid askew over the skillet and allow the sauce and sausage to come up to a slow simmer to warm the sauce completely.

When the sauce is warmed through, toss in the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of the grated Parmesan cheese. Completely coat the pasta with the sauce.

To serve, spoon a generous helping on a plate, garnish with the pancetta and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.  Serve with some crusty garlic bread and a salad. 

You will be blown away when you feel the different textures and flavors hitting you palette as you work your way through this plate from stove heaven!

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