- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, sliced
- pinch of red pepper flakes or chili powder
- 16 oz pappardelle
- 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes with juices
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears — I only bought one)
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Chop bell pepper, and onion into 1″ pieces. Toss with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning.
- Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined pan and roast 20 minutes. Stir and switch oven to broil. Broil 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and have some light browning on the edges.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and cook garlic in same pot, stirring occasionally, until light golden around edges, about 2 minutes. Add basil sprigs and Aleppo-style pepper (flakes / powder); cook, stirring, until basil is wilted, about 1 minute. Add sliced zucchini (if you have).
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid.
- Add canned tomatoes, corn, and ½ cup pasta water to pot and cook, stirring often, until corn is mostly tender, about 3 minutes. Season to taste (salt, pepper, etc.) and add in roasted vegetables.
- Stir in pasta and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Then add butter and cook, stirring, until butter is melted and sauce is smooth and creamy. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Add 2 oz. Parmesan in several additions, stirring after each addition until sauce is smooth. Return sausage to pot and cook, adding a splash or two more of cooking liquid if needed to loosen sauce, until flavors meld, about 1 minute. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until sauce reaches desired consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide pasta among shallow bowls; top with basil leaves and more Parmesan.
On one recent episode of Bob’s Burgers, Gene (“Summer Is Awful. There’s Too Much Pressure To Enjoy Yourself”) asks for fried zucchini on his panini from Grandpa Nini’s Grand Paninis. I was also longing to do a more traditional Italian zucchini cream sauce with heavy cream, which I might try in a few weeks. Jesse thinks this recipe is complicated and he’s not wrong, but he also said it was “really really good”.