If you are roasting the red peppers yourself then your first step will be to preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Centigrade). If you are using canned roasted peppers, then skip down to step 5 to start.
Oil the exterior of whole red peppers with olive oil – either use a brush or your hands.
Pop into the preheated oven and roast for around 20 minutes, turning with tongs after ten minutes, until skins blister and blacken.
Remove from the oven and immediately place in a bowl with an airtight lid, or wrap in foil, or place into a heavy duty plastic bag. Allow to ‘sweat’ for around 10 minutes by which time they should be cool enough to handle – the skin will peel off and seeds and stems can be removed.
If using canned red peppers, skip steps 1 to 4 and simply open the can of red peppers and chop them up.
Next heat up 5 quarts of water in a large pot to cook the pasta, making sure to add a teaspoon of salt to the water. It is not necessary to add oil.
Once water has come to a rolling boil, add the pasta a bit at a time, so the water does not go off the boil. Turn down the heat a little so it still continues to boil, and stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking, then place a lid on the pot and allow to boil for twenty minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, place another saucepan on the stove, set the heat to medium and add 2 teaspoons of oil.
Add the chopped garlic and onion, salt and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is turning translucent and gaining a little golden color – make sure it does not burn.
Add the drained peppers, and stir into the mix.
Add the remaining herbs and seasonings to taste, turn down the heat and let simmer while the pasta is cooking.
Cut the sausage (precooked) in coins and add to the sauce.
When the pasta is cooked al dente (done but still firm) test Italian style by throwing a piece onto the splashback – if it sticks it’s done, if it falls off it needs some more cooking. This works for spaghetti and linguini. Other pasta types, like penne and shells will need a taste test – for the bite test the pasta should be tender but firmer towards the center.
Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain and then put back into the pot. Notice we do not rinse the pasta as the bit of starch left on it will help the sauce adhere.
Add the sausage and sauce mix and gently combine.
Pour into your serving dish or serve straight from the pot.
Top each serving with shredded parmesan cheese, if desired.
Garnish with some strips of red pepper and finely chopped parsley to add color.