Cavatappi with Shrimp, Spicy Sausage, and White Beans Recipe

Cavatappi (corkscrew) is one of our favorite pastas and we use a cavatappi (corkscrew) to open our favorite Cortona syrah. The recipe that follows is from Frances’s and Susan Wyler’s Pasta Veloce: Irresistibly Fast Recipes from Under the Tuscan Sun. The photograph is by Steven Rothfeld (note the Bramasole Olive Oil bottle in the background).

Cavatappi with Shrimp, Spicy Sausage, and White Beans
Serves 6
Even with spicy Italian sausage, the heat level can vary wildly from brand to brand. That’s why we suggest seasoning the dish to your taste at the end. Or simply use sweet Italian sausage and black pepper only.
12 ounces (350 g) cavatappi
1 pound (450 g) shelled and deveined shrimp, patted dry
¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon salt
3 or 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
10 to 12 ounces (275 to 350 g) hot Italian sausage, casing removed
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pound (500 g) fresh plum tomatoes, diced, or 2 cups (250 g) canned, chopped tomatoes
1 can (15.5 ounces/440 g) cannellini or Great Northern white beans
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper and crushed hot red pepper
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is just barely al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet or flameproof casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When it is very hot, add the shrimp and sauté them over high heat for 1 minute on each side to brown lightly; they’ll finish cooking in the sauce. Remove to a plate.
Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan along with the sliced onion. Season with the salt. Sauté over high heat, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Reduce the heat to medium-high.
Add the sausages and use a large spoon to break up the meat into small chunks. Season with the oregano and cook, stirring, until the sausage is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes until they just soften.
As soon as the pasta is al dente, scoop it into the sauce in the pan along with 1 cup of the cooking water. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the beans and parsley. Season with additional salt if needed and with both freshly ground black and hot pepper to taste.