A path is chosen.
In my journey and evolution of becoming a food blogger, I went through several phases where I was not certain what I wanted from the experience. I contemplated attaining a Culinary Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu, I took the ServSafe Food Safety Class at Long Beach City College, and I applied for admissions at California Polytechnic University, Pomona as a Food Science major. The one consistent thread throughout this process was that I confirmed that I do not want to be a chef or cook professionally. I have cooked at home in the past, and while I enjoy it [at times], I believe cooking professionally will ruin my love and passion for culinary art.
I suppose the irony in all of this is that I go through times when I cook often [relatively speaking, prior to this latest stint, I have not cooked a meal since 2011] and lately I have been cooking more than usual. That is to the credit of my recently captured love interest, though. When I saw an opportunity to take an existing Ragú® recipe and spin it into a New Tra-Dish, I leaped at the chance. It presented me with challenge, I have never changed a recipe before. That and I’ll claim any excuse to cook for her. As eager as I was, nervousness overcame me because I had no idea what to do. It took me a few days, but I eventually figured it out.
Sausage & Peppers is an Italian street food and fits my personality well. It is simple with varying applications; it can go in pasta, a sandwich or eaten alone. I wanted to use Rattle Snake sausage (that would have been a twist) but understanding that would lack mass appeal, I decided to keep things simple. I used hot Italian Sausages instead of the sweet Italian that the recipe called for. Green Bell Peppers are bitter, whereas yellow and red are sweet, the contrasting flavors would help tame fiery punch of the Cayenne Pepper seasoning and the spiciness of the hot Italian sausages.
I used Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce as my base. It is made with 11 juicy tomatoes and is the richest and thickest recipe the brand offers. I added an extra tomato to sort of round out that number and give the sauce a pungent kick of sweet and savory. I added oregano, parsley, a bit of cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning to the mix just prior to adding the vegetables and sausage. I let the sauce simmer for about 40 minutes whilst preparing the Rigatoni, and in the end, a beautiful Italian supper was presented to my lady, and we indulged.
I am certain I do not want to be a chef, but I can cook every now and again, right? A path is chosen. Tell me if you try my recipe and let me know what you think. You can also visit Ragú®’s Facebook fanpage for additional quick, easy and delicious recipe ideas.
Special bonus: Visit www.RaguSweeps.com to enter the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes and a grand prize trip to Venice for a family of four. That would be a great trip!
Abbreviated Sweepstakes Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 5/6/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit www.RaguSweeps.com. Void where prohibited.
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
- 1 White Onion
- 1 Garlic Clove (minced)
- 6 Hot Italian Sausages (Sliced)
- 1 jar Ragú® Old World Style Traditional sauce
- Rigatoni Pasta
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Italian Seasoning
- Parsley Flakes
- Black Peppercorn
- Sea Salt (or Kosher)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Cut Bell Peppers, Onions as desired
- Oil a frying pan with olive oil and brown whole Sausages on each side, do not cook through. Once each side is brown, set sausages aside for cutting.
- In the same pan, add bell peppers and onions to excess oil, cook until onions become translucent.
- In a sauce pan, add Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce, add garlic clove, and season to taste.
- Add vegetable mixture and sliced sausage, allowing all to simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.