Make Ahead

Sweet Heat Pasta

July 22, 2011
1 Ratings
Photo by Andrew Fechner
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

While on a workation (same work, different location) I made use of the food items I found in the pantry and the freezer of the house where I was staying. With a houseful of hearty appetites and no desire to use an oven, I came up with this easy and delicious pasta dish that tickled the taste buds with both some heat and some sweet. I was inspired by Clemente in The Godfather, who used just a touch of sugar in his pasta sauce! (In fact, we took the leftovers to the drive-in that night to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.) —Bevi

What You'll Need
  • 1 package Italian sweet sausage (6 or 8 links), casings removed
  • 1 and a half large Vidalia or sweet onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 long, sweet red Cubanelle peppers, chopped in 1 to 2-inch chunks
  • 2 large teaspoons crushed and dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/3 bottle good red wine ( I used a Pinot Noir)
  • 2 24 oz. jars of organic marinara sauce, plain, OR, preferably, your own marinara sauce of equivalent amount
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 box Angel Hair Pasta, whole wheat or regular
  • lots of fresh grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  1. Remove the sausage casings, and with your fingers crumble the sausage into a Dutch oven set over medium heat, stirring constantly. Saute until enough fat is released in which you can add the chopped onions.
  2. Add the onions and continue to saute over medium heat until the onions are translucent and just slightly colored.
  3. Add the Cubanelle peppers, and continue to stir so the sausage becomes brown.
  4. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and the thyme, and cook a few minutes more.
  5. Add the red wine, the marinara sauce, and some salt and pepper. Reduce the heat. After 10 minutes, add the sugar. Cover and cook for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. About 15 minutes prior to serving, prepare the pasta. Follow the directions on the packaging, cooking to your preference of doneness. Drain the pasta.
  7. Place the pasta in a large, shallow serving bowl. Add about a cup of the sauce to the pasta, fully tossing and blending. Then, either pour all the sauce over the pasta, or allow people to serve their own amount of sauce. Pass around the grated cheese.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • Anniebird

Recipe by: Bevi

Cooking is an important part of my past. I grew up and worked on our family resort. These days, I cook good food to please my friends and family.

2 Reviews

Anniebird October 5, 2020
We ❤️ This recipe at our house! I’ve never found a red cubanelle so we just use red peppers. We also like to serve it over a ziti or penne. It makes enough to freeze for another box of pasta. It’s a definite keeper!!!!
Bevi October 6, 2020
I am so glad you like it, Anniebird! Any sweet pepper is great and so is any pasta! Thanks for your great review!