Pasta Aglio e Olio with Mushrooms

We’ve enjoyed this dish at several of our favorite restaurants, yet I’ve never made it myself.  After researching several recipes, I’ve come up with my own version.  It’s easy, delicious and I hope you will like it!

Ingredients:
2 bell pepper
½ large sweet onion
1 c. mushrooms
1-2 cloves garlic
8 basil leaves
12 oz. pasta of your choice
4 Italian sausages (hot or sweet)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1-2 c. reserved pasta water
2 T. olive oil (you will use a little more, throughout)
1 T. butter

Parmigiano reggiano or Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Useful tip: I like to pre-boil my sausage to remove some of the grease.  This is optional, but it makes for a leaner and less greasy dish.

 

 
In a small pot, add 2 qts. of cold water and bring to a boil.  With a fork, pierce the casings of the sausages.  Place them in the boiling water and cook for approximately 5 minutes.  Remove to a plate and set aside to cool.  Discard water.

Wash and rinse the bell peppers and remove seeds.  Slice into thin strips.  Using half of a sweet (vidalia) onion, slice thinly and set aside.  Coarsely chop mushrooms and set aside.  Peel 1-2 cloves or garlic and slice thinly.  Wash basil leaves and dry thoroughly.  Cut into thin strips.

Bring 2 qts. of salted water with 1 T. oil to a boil.  Add pasta.  In this demonstration we used farfalle, but you can use any pasta of your choice.

 

 

 
In a skillet, add 1 T. butter and 2 T. olive oil over medium high heat.  Add peppers and onions.  Season with salt and pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft.  Add garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking until all vegetables are tender.

Add a pinch of hot pepper flakes.  Cut the sausages into small slices and add to the skillet.  Continue to sauté until the sausage is thoroughly cooked.  Add basil.  Allow to simmer.

Reserve 1½ c. pasta water, then drain in a colander.  This water will be used to thin the sauce.

 

Add pasta to the skillet along with enough reserved pasta water to thin the sauce.  Drizzle approximately 3-4 T. olive oil.  Stir until combined.

Serve with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Yields 4-6 servings.

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