From time to time, life needs to be shaken up just a little to keep things fresh and moving in a forward direction; to keep the circulation strong so that stagnation doesn’t set in in various areas.
I would liken life to a jug of unfiltered orange or apple juice in that after a while, if you don’t shake the jug, all the good fruity stuff—the tasty pulp—will accumulate and sort of “settle” at the bottom, leaving the liquid left at the top to taste weak and diluted, lacking the depth and fullness of its potential flavor. It may taste “OK” or “so-so”, but not especially vibrant or memorable.
And let’s be honest: it’s quite easy to lose interest when somethings is just “OK” or “so-so”, isn’t it?
But if that jug of delicious unfiltered juice is shaken up on a regular basis, those sweet sediments will disperse throughout the glorious liquid, revitalizing each cold glass poured, so that each sip is as full-bodied and as flavorful as it can possibly be.
I imagine our existence that way; that if we don’t stop to shake up that “juice jug” that is our life from time to time, we can’t really expect life to remain as interesting and flavorful as it could ultimately be. We’ll just keep right on drinking the watery liquid at the top, and over time end up feeling like things are a bit bland and not know quite why.
• Olive oil
• 4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
• 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
• 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
• 1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• ½ cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
• 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
• 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
• 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked
-Place a large, heavy-bottom pan or braising pot over medium-high heat; add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil
-Once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side;
-When the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot with a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment;
-Next, add the sliced onion into the pan with the sausage drippings, and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning (add a touch more olive oil, if necessary);
-Once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden;
-Next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced;
-Next, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off;
-To finish the sauce, drizzle in about 2-3 good tablespoons of the olive oil to create a silky, rich flavor, and add in the chopped parsley and about half of the julienned basil; stir, and keep warm while you prepare the noodles.
-Prepare the pappardelle noodles according to instructions on package; then, drain the noodles very well, and add them directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the pappardelle noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it; check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
-To serve, add equal portions of the “Drunken” noodles to bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining julienned basil; you can even top with shaved Parmesan, if desired, and an extra drizzle of olive oil.