Picking out a tree and decorating it may be my favorite thing about the holidays. Brian and I planned to get our tree this past Sunday, but unfortunately, our plan got derailed by the rain. The first Christmas Brian and I spent together we named our tree Bert and we’ve done so ever since. This year he will be named Bert 3! Every year we also photograph ourselves with Bert in front of our house. We really need to get more friends, huh? Since we didn’t want to shoot this epic photo with Bert in the rain, we postponed our tree day for another weekend. Sadly, it will have to be December 15th because we will be out-of-town next weekend looking at wedding venues. If you couldn’t tell from my wedding inspiration post, I’m looking for a barn. A rustic and elegant barn, if you will. I swear, a barn can be both rustic and elegant. I’m not sure that I’ve convinced Brian’s mother of this fact just yet, but fingers crossed I will. As you can probably imagine there aren’t a huge number of barns in the Los Angeles area, so we are driving up north to San Luis Obispo to look at a few. Wow, I just went on a whole wedding tangent and I didn’t even mean to. Sorry about that, back to the tree and the rain. So, after we scrapped the tree idea, we decided that the rain called for cooking a new recipe together and drinking a great bottle of red wine that was given to us by our friend Chris, as an engagement gift. Thanks Chris!
Pasta + red wine + rain + your love = a fabulous Sunday night.
Kate & Brian’s spicy sausage pasta…enjoy!
3 lb heirloom tomatoes, cut into small dice, juice reserved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 1/2 to 3 tsp red pepper flakes
15 large fresh basil leaves
1 lb rigatoni (we used gluten free pasta!)
4 spicy Italian sausages
Combine the diced tomatoes, tomato juice, oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes (use 1 1/2 teaspoons if you don’t like spicy and up to 3 teaspoons if you do) in a large nonreactive bowl. Stir gently to coat well, and let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before serving.
Sautee sausages until cooked
When the tomatoes are ready, tear the basil leaves into bite-sized pieces and stir into the tomato mixture. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook according to the package directions. (If the tomatoes have not let off a lot of juice, reserve 1/2 cup/120 ml of the pasta cooking water before draining.)
Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta cooking water (as needed) and parsley and stir to mix. Add the tomato mixture, and stir to combine.Taste and season with salt and additional pepper flakes, as desired.
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