Pepperoni gives this sauce its kick. Or try other hot sausages such as cured chorizo. Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips
In a large frying pan, sauté the pepperoni over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off the fat from the pan and wipe the pan clean.
In the same pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, breaking them up. Add the salt, cover, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the cavatappi until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce, the pepperoni, and the parsley.
Variation: Cavatappi with Pepperoni and Orange Tomato Sauce For an additional Mediterranean touch, stir the grated zest of 1 orange into the tomato sauce just before you remove it from the heat.
Look for a gulpable, fruity Merlot to go with this full-flavored dish. Try a version from California or experiment with a bottle from Chile or Argentina.