Pasta with Italian Sausage
One Italian sausage per person
One good-sized Roma tomato per person
Basil (I used dried, but use fresh, chopped up, if you have it)
Extra virgin olive oil
About a quarter pound of pasta per person, I like capelli, spaghettini, linguine or tagliatelle
Put a large pot of water, with salt, on to boil for the pasta.
In a skillet or frypan, on medium-low, heat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil per person.
Using the point of a knife, slit the casing of the Italian sausage and peel it off. Slice the sausage into rounds about a half-inch thick. Place these in the frying pan. After they have browned, turn them over. Sprinkle with the basil.
Slice the tomatoes in two lengthwise and remove the eye. Then slice each half into thin wedges. When the sausages have browned, add these to the pan. Salt to taste.
Finally, when the tomatoes are cooked (three or four minutes) add about a tablespoon of sambal oelek per person to the pan and mix together.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the pan. Toss everything together and put on serving plates.
Grate real Parmesan cheese (from Italy!) over each serving.
Pick a robust wine to stand up to the pronounced flavors of the dish. Maybe a good California or Australian Shiraz.
In the original he used ground chiles, but I don't like them much as you are always picking out little dried bits from your teeth. The sambal oelek works much better.
No photo because it wasn't until I had eaten half the plate that I decided to do a post. Here's a picture of the jar of sambal oelek:
Personally, I think that one of the biggest secrets to Italian cooking, and one that no Italian restaurant in my area seems aware of, is the need to use real Parmesan cheese for grating. It comes in those big 50 lb rounds and it's not cheap. But it is so, so worth it. That rubbery, tasteless stuff that comes in a box or can, pre-grated, is awful. And so is the cheese from Uruguay that is also labeled "Parmesan". Parmesan cheese comes from Parma. In Italy. And it has a unique and irreplaceable flavor.