Sometimes food tastes better with less scrutiny.
The meals I throw together without thinking too much are much better for having good ingredients around the house. Mustapha's red pepper salt is a blend of Moroccan poivron rouge, piment fort, and fleur de sel. It's something really special, a clean bite of heat and sweetness, salt that does something far more than what is expected. I'm making all our pasta with a little toss of it from now on.
8 ounces gluten-free pasta of your choice (this one is Manicaretti)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, peeled and fine-chopped
1 teaspoon fine chopped fresh rosemary
pinch red pepper salt (or equal parts hot chile pepper and sweet paprika)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 sausage of your choice, already cooked and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
pinch lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1. Fill a large pot with water and enough salt to make the water taste like the ocean. A glug of olive oil helps as well. When the water is boiling rapidly, throw in the pasta. Cook it until the texture is just shy of al dente (soft with just a little bite). Drain immediately. Put the hot pasta back in the pot.
2. Bring a large saucepan to medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil. Toss the onions in the hot oil and stir. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent, yielding to the touch of your spatula. Put in the rosemary and cook about 1 minute, or until the room begins to smell of rosemary. Pinch in the red pepper salt, the nutmeg, and the pepper. Stir until the onions and rosemary are coated with these seasonings. Pour in the diced tomatoes and allow them to cook for a few minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and almost evaporated.
3. Put 1/2 of the butter in the tomato sauce and swirl until it is all melted. Toss in the sliced sausage and cook until it is evenly heated. Pour in the chicken stock and allow it to bubble and combine with all the other ingredients. When the sauce has reached the thickness you desire, reduce the heat to low.
Put the cooked pasta in the sauce. Stir to coat it entirely.
Plate up the pasta and top with the Parmesan.
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