A hearty, cream-sauce pasta with hot Italian sausage and loaded with chunky pieces of vegetables is a nice way to warm up on a cold winter night. Tagliatelle, the long, flat pasta that is usually available only fresh in your local grocers pasta section (tough to dry out the long strands, I would think), is perfect for this dish – the smooth, silky pasta complements the rougher edges of the other ingredients.
I usually find a delicious hot Italian sausage at the grocers on sale; they freeze beautifully and are actually easier to cut up when partially thawed, so they can be cooked up ahead on the night we make the pasta. We usually throw in some halved baby bella mushrooms along with the onions and the red peppers, but any other mushroom will work well as long as you leave the pieces fairly big – you definitely want to feel the texture of the large pieces in the sauce. I use a little cayenne pepper to add a little heat; you can certainly omit if you want a subtler sauce. Garnish with some fresh parmesan cheese, add in a nice, full-bodied French red wine, and you are set for the evening!