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International Recipe : Fusilli with Spicy Sausages

If there is one dish that perfectly encapsulates the importance of matching a variety of pasta to a particular sauce, this is it. The spicy sausage meat becomes embedded within the crevices of the fusilli and the strips of sweet red pepper, cooked down until they are meltingly soft, languidly wrap themselves around the corkscrew-shaped pasta to produce a dish that is both beautiful to the eye and divine on the palate.

Serves 4


  • 350g Italian-style or herbed sausages
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 300g ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 tin peeled
  • and chopped Italian tomatoes
  • ½ tsp tomato puree
  • 400g fusilli (or rigatoni)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
  • 1-2 tbsp whipping cream/mascarpone cheese (optional)
  • Small handful fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Slice sausages lengthways and remove the meat from casings.
  2. Heat ½ tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and fry the meat until golden brown, ensuring it is well broken up. Remove from the pan, pour away the excess oil and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil and sauté the onion until golden. Add the garlic and red peppers and fry until the peppers are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and the cooked meat and cook covered over low heat for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have formed a thick sauce.
  5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
  6. Bring 4 liters of salted water to boil in a large pot. Cook the fusilli in the boiling water according to the packet instructions. When the pasta is al dente, drain reserving 2 tbsp of the water.
  7. Just before serving, heat the sauce. If you want a creamy finish, stir in the cream of mascarpone cheese.
  8. Shred the basil leaves and mix into the sauce.
  9. Combine the fusilli with the sauce, adding some of the reserved water if dry. Serve with grated Parmesan.


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Last Modified: 11/28/11.