Oak Smoked Italian Sausage with Pasta in Smoky Garlic Sauce

Smoking the Italian sausage gives it a rich smoky flavor that permeates the pasta sauce when sautéed with olive oil, garlic and basil. Anyone who appreciates gourmet Italian cuisine will love the spicy dish.

Ingredients:

4 oak wood chunks (use hickory as substitute)
3 cups dry white wine for water pan
1 ½ lb spicy Italian sausage links cut into 1in. pieces
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup caper juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 ½ lb bow tie pasta cooked al dente and drained
1/4 cup capers
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper

Place wood chunks on charcoal or lava rocks, and pour wine into water pan. Distribute Italian sausage pieces evenly in smoker basket and set on lower level grill. Smoke cook for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour (electric/gas smoker) or 1 to 1 ½ hours (charcoal smoker).

In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add caper juice, wine, water and smoked sausage. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and simmer for only 2 minutes more (basil loses its flavor if overcooked).

Add cooked pasta to sauce mixture, toss and heat until pasta is piping hot. Stir in capers just before removing from heat. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. The salt in the caper juice should be enough; season only after tasting.

Serves 6