Whole Wheat Penne with Sausage and Sauce di Bari

Whole Wheat Penne with Sausage and Sauce di Bari

Whole Wheat Penne with Sausage and Sauce di Bari
This is a hearty dish from Apulia near Bari, the region my grandparents came from. The whole wheat pasta combined with the sausage and mushrooms make this a great comfort food.

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced into quarters
1/2 cup diced red or green pepper
1/4 sweet or white onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped and drained (reserve the juice!)
1/2 cup red table wine
12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta, cooked per package and drained
1/2 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, peppers and pepper. Saute for 3 – 5 minutes until garlic browns. Add in sausage and mushrooms, crumbling up the sausage with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until sausage is browned and cooked through.
Add chopped tomatoes and continue to cook and stir for 6 – 8 minutes until liquid from tomatoes is gone. Stir in the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix in the crusty pieces at the bottom. Simmer over medium high heat for 2 -3 minutes until reduced by half.
Add approximately 2 cups of the reserved juice from the tomatoes and stir thoroughly, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered until sauce thickens. Pour over the hot cooked pasta and dust with parmesan just before serving.