Sausage and Pepperonata Bucatini

Spice up an at-home date night with pasta and peppers. Serve with Scampi Crostini and Panko-Crusted Chicken with Cherry Tomato Sauce.


  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound bucatini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 pound store-bought bulk, Italian sweet sausage
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • Black pepper
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, quartered lengthwise, then thinly sliced
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • About 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • A handful of basil leaves, torn or shredded
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a handful), plus some to pass at table


Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook to al dente. Heads up: take out about 1/4 cup of the starchy water just before you drain the pasta.

While the pasta water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, heat the EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown and crumble it, then add the onion and garlic and soften for a couple of minutes. Add the peppers and cook until tender, 7-8 minutes more. Sprinkle in the sugar, then add the vinegar to dissolve it and deglaze with the starchy cooking water.

Add the drained pasta to the pan and toss it with the parsley, basil and cheese.

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