Makes 6 servings

1 pound ziti (or the pasta of your choice)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 bulb fennel, trimmed, quartered, cored, and very thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, very thinly sliced
2 cubanelle (banana) peppers, seeded and very thinly sliced
1 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup basil (about 20 leaves, shredded or torn)
Salt and pepper to taste

To make: [1] Boil water in a large pot for pasta. Add pasta and cook to al dente. [2] While pasta cooks, make the sauce. Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the sausage to the pan. Cook meat and break into small pieces. [3] When sausage is cooked, transfer it to a paper-towel-lined plate and blot off excess fat. [4] Return pan to heat and add remaining olive oil plus the garlic, fennel, onions, and peppers. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and cook, turning frequently, 7-8 minutes until tender but not browned. [5] Add the wine or stock and stir in the tomatoes and sausage. [6] When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the sauce. [7] Top pasta with cheese and basil; serve with a side of broccoli and crusty bread for sopping up extra sauce.

Rachael's Tip: I make this one to watch with Goodfellas. Shave the garlic nice and thin, the way Pauly would, but don't use a razor blade like he does. A sharp knife is