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Roasted Peppers and Cheese Appetizer with a Sausage and Radicchio Orecchiette Pasta

May 18, 2008 by Gabriele Corcos

Today’s lunch could have easily been a mid-August family feast.
The kitchen filled up with wonderful smell of roasted peppers, and both Debi and I have been transported somewhere else…
She felt like she was getting ready for a block party in Brooklyn. I imagined the singing of cicadas in the olive fields… Just a few quick notes about today’s menu:
– always try to find pork sausage that are not seasoned (same applies in case you decide to go turkey)
– you can use your sauce to make bruschetta instead of pasta. Toast some bread, spread some Italian soft cheese (Mozzarella, Stracchino, Burrata), then sprinkle the sausage sauce. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 min…you can broil it at the end for a final crisp.
– when preparing the peppers, always leave yourself open to new uses for them. Yes, you can do the skewers, but there are many different ways you can serve them, as a bruschetta, as a side dish…you can even chop the roasted peppers and use them to prepare a cold pasta salad. Just get creative!!!



Serves: 4 / Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 30 minutes

  • 4 peppers, medium-big size, different colors
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 10 oz of cheese cut into small cubes(: Mozzarella, Manchego…anything you’d like to try)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Tooth picks



Serves: 4 / Prep time: 5 minutesCook time: 25- 30 minutes

  • 4 pork sausages, casings removed
  • 1 whole radicchio, chopped medium- fine
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped fine
  • 2 handful of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves and 1 handful of fresh peppermint
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for seasoning



1Preheat the oven to 450 Fº.

2Wash your peppers thoroughly, cut them in quarters and clean them (take the seeds out and all the white stuff).

3On a cutting board slice them in 1/2 inches strips.

4Peel and chop the garlic very fine.

5In a pyrex pan sprinkle some oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and layer down the first “sheet” of peppers, then again, season with the oil, salt and pepper…and again, and again, until the peppers are all well seasoned in the pan.

6Cover with aluminum foil and cook for the first 20 minutes.

7Remove the aluminum foil, stir the peppers, give it another 10-15 minutes and then boost the broiler for less than 5.

8Once ready, let them cool for about a half hour, then get your hands a nice olive oil treatment while preparing the skewers. What do you feel like drinking today, a humble La Costaglia from Tuscany, a robust Rioja from Spain, or a super chilled dry Santa Margherita from Trentino?


1In a pan, sauté the onion and the sausages in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the fresh herbs.

2In a non stick pan,sauté the onion and the sausages (without the casing) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the fresh herbs.

3On a high flame, let the pork sweat some fat, while you break the pieces of meat with a wooden spoon…cook until golden brown.

4Pour the wine into the pan, and stir away, let the alcohol evaporate, then lower the flame, season with salt and pepper, add the walnuts and let the sauce slowly simmer for about 15 minutes.

5Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and start cooking your orecchiette.

6While the orecchiette is cooking, add the radicchio to the sauce, and stir well; you want to wait the last minute to make sure that it stays crunchy, as opposed to cook down.

7 Cook your orecchiette al dente, drain it, and place it in the pan with the sauce. Sauté for a minute so the pasta can absorb the sauce. Buon Appetito!


IMPORTANTE! The trick, like in many pasta dishes, is to cook your pasta very much al dente, and sauté it at the end in the pan with the sauce…while cooking for its final minute it will absorbs the sauce, becoming an incredible dish.

Buon Appetito!
Debi and Gabriele

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