The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily play around with it. Don't have sausage? Use shrimp instead. Have lots of basil? Add more. Don't have capers? Just leave them out. Have Parmesan? Sprinkle some on at the end if you like.
Prep the ingredients while the pasta water is heating.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound Italian sausage, sweet or hot
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved
- 3-4 large fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 pound linguine or other pasta
1 Heat a large pot of salted water (1 Tbsp salt per 2 quarts of water) to a boil.
2 Brown the sausage, add garlic, roasted red peppers, capers and olives: While the water is heating, prepare the sausage and peppers. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up into bits with your fingers as you add it to the pan or with a wooden spoon once it's in the pan.
When the sausage starts to brown, add the garlic and cook for another minute. Mix in the roasted red peppers, capers and olives. If the pasta water isn't boiling yet, remove the sauté pan from the heat.
3 Cook the pasta: Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot.
4 Add chopped tomatoes and basil to sausage mixture: When the pasta is almost done, increase the heat to high on the sauté pan and when the sausage mixture starts to sizzle, add the chopped tomatoes and basil. Toss to combine and lower the heat to medium-low.
5 Combine pasta and sausage mixture: Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl. Add the sausage mix to the bowl and toss to combine.