4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
1 pound hot Italian sausage, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
4 cups thinly sliced onions
1 ¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp minced garlic
½ cup vodka
2 (16-oz) cans crushed whole tomatoes, with their juice
1 tsp Emeril Essence
½ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound penne pasta
15 oz ricotta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat. Add the sausages and cook, stirring, until browned, 4-5 minutes. Add the onions, ¾ tsp salt and the black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just soft, about 4 minutes. Add the basil and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the vodka and tomatoes; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. Add the Essence and heavy cream, stir to mix and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
To cook the pasta, combine 4 quarts water, the 1 Tbsp olive oil and the remaining 1 tsp salt in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente, 12-14 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well. Combine half of the ricotta cheese and half of the parmesan cheese with the remaining 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta and toss to coat evenly. Add the sausage mixture and mix well. Add the remaining ricotta cheese and the remaining parmesan cheese and mix well.
Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.