My mom isn't Italian.
Her ancestors came over on the Mayflower and originated from Scotland and England.
My dad, on the other hand, is first-generation Italian American.
My mom introduced my dad to the glorious wonder that is Mexican food.
My dad fueled my mom's love for Italian food.
They're a food match paired in heaven!
My mom quickly learned how to make a few amazing dishes that will fool anyone into thinking that she, too, is first-generation Italian American.
This dish is one of them.
This dish is the ultimate in comfort food.
It's a pair of warm hiking socks on a chilly evening after spending the day in a pair of 3-inch heels.
It's a down comforter with the window cracked open in late fall.
It's a big fleece bathrobe and wooly moccasin slippers at 5am when getting out of bed is the most terrible thing conceivable.
It's rigatoni, smothered in rich, slightly spicy tomato sauce topped with flakes of salty parmesan.
It's Italian sausage sauteed in olive oil with sweet onions, garlic, and bell peppers.
It's the dish I love to make, but love even more when it's made by my mom.
There's just something about having her make it that makes it even better.
As it is, I could eat bowl after bowl of this.
Paired with a thick slice of buttery garlic toast and accompanied with a green salad, it's the meal I would eat every day, forever.
4 links Italian sausage, hot or mild, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
3 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. olive oil
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add in sausage. Cover and allow to cook, 4-5 minutes. Remove cover and add onions. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Stir and cook, around 5 minutes until onions are just beginning to brown. Add garlic and bell peppers. Stir frequently. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then replace cover. Allow everything to simmer together for about 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust salt. If you need to deglaze the pan, add a splash of water, red wine vinegar, or chicken stock. Scrape all the browned bits off the bottom and into the sausage mixture.
Serve hot, alongside pasta.
Italian mother a big hug and be thankful that you don't have to be first-generation Italian American to enjoy this pasta dish.
And then enjoy it. In wool socks and a big fleece bathrobe.
While watching Sex and the City re-runs.
Or just with a slice of buttery garlic bread and a green salad. It's almost the same thing.