This was adapted from a Siscilian friend's recipe and a dish from a local restaurant, now defunked, called the Fox Farm Inn:
capellini cooked al dente, dressed with EVOO and set aside
Sauce, I sometimes make from scratch, but more often I start with a jar a good red sauce and add:
pinch or two of fennel,
tube of Bob Evan's italian sausage, sauteed in EVOO
green sweet bell pepper cut in 1/4" strips and sauteed with sausage
several cloves garlic, minced and mashed, added with sauce (because it scorches easily)
several tablespoons gresh oregano, pinch of red pepper and small amount flat-leafed Italian parsley, dash or two of nutmeg, added with the peppers and sausage
about 2 T chiffonaded or roughly chopped basil, added right before serving. Most people would add a nice sweet onion to this, but my husband recoils from onions like the Count from garlic, so if i add any, it's very little and not while he's looking!lastly, a chunk of reggiano parmesan to grate on top, to add to the salad and/or to grace the bread.
If you like you can add some beef to the sausage mix, but I infinitely prefer juicy sweet pork sausage. (don't bother looking for low fat recipes from this quarter! Abomination!!!) The fox Farm used to also add chicken strips, but I felt the subtle taste of chicken was completely lost in all those robust tastes so I feave it out of my version.
So then, I add some olive oil to a large steel skillet or sauce pan set on medium heat, split the sausage sleeve, cut the sausage with the metal turner into pieces about 1" or so, add the strips of green pepper and the extra fennel, saute until the sausage is slightly brown on the outside, then add the sauce (home made or jar) and the oregano garlic, etc. and let it simmer until I'm ready with the capellini or spaghetti squash and salad (I do romaine and boston bibb torn up with some red leaf, in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid, add several liberal dashes (couple T.) of EVOO, equal of balsamic vinegar, ground pepper, salt and a tiny finely minced then mashed clove of raw garlic, put on the lid and toss vigorously. Top with any or all of the following: capers, black olives, antipasto ingredients like marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sauteed crutons, or grated parm. reggiano or romano, shredded mozzarella or provolone...or whatever *you* like. Or I might make Caesar salad if I have time. Or I might use one of those half-baked baguettes Kroger sells to make a garlic butter bread to go with it.
There's a kind of pasta that turns up in Odd Lots sometimes that boasts of being made on old fashioned brass or copper dies that is definitely worth getting--heck, STOCKPILING if you spot it. the metal dies gives the pasta a rough texture that gives the sauce something to cling to and makes all the difference in the world. You only need a little sauce if you use these. Wish I could recall the name of the company. It's not Barilla or any brand you might find in a typical grocery store. You can feel the surface difference with your finger, tongue, and see it with your eyes. Spaghetti isn't supposed to be *shiny* smooth.