Weekly Winner: Making Magic

bucatiniHere’s what I love about cooking:  Sometimes, magic happens.  You see a recipe, you know from the ingredients that it is going to be tasty…. but seriously it has no right to be as good as it is.  With hardly any work, some careful measuring and good ingredients, “et voila” — serious magic!

That’s what happened last night.  In my very own kitchen, I created magic.  Actually, I made Bucatini with Sausage and Peas, but what happened when all the ingredients came together in the pot can only be described as magic.  Soul-satisfying, peace-inducing, “all is right with the world” sorcery.  This is definitely a prime example of when the final dish is far greater than the sum of its parts.  The recipe comes from Food & Wine Magazine and obviously I think it’s pretty awesome.  But make this for yourself and see if you agree.

Bucatini with Sausage and Peas

Serves 6


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small shallot, minced

2 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup frozen baby peas


1 pound bucatini or perciatelli

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

2 tablespoons shredded basil


In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.

Partially cover the saucepan and cook the tomato sauce over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes longer. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Add the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and toss over low heat for 2 minutes, until the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Transfer the pasta to bowls, top with the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese and the shredded basil and serve.