Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper Almond Sauce and Sausage

1 pound rigatoni (or ziti would work well here too - a pasta with ridges to catch the sauce)
kosher salt, handful to flavor the pasta water
1 pound smoked sausage (I used Farmer John's)
1 pint jar Roasted Red Peppers (approximately 1 cup) - reserve the liquid and garlic from the jar
3 garlic cloves from pepper jar, minced (or use fresh garlic cloves)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (sliced would work here too)
5 ounce bag of garlic and cheese flavored croutons
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, separated
1/4 cup reserved liquid from pepper jar
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 tablespoon Italian spice mix
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a pan over medium high heat, cook sausages.  Remove from heat and place on cutting board.  Slice sausages.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.  Reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

In the bowl of a food processor, blend croutons until they are in crumb form.  Transfer to a bowl for later use.  Refit food processor and blend almonds, once in crumb form transfer them to a separate bowl for later use.  Refit food processor again and blend 1 cup of roasted red peppers.  Once chopped to desired consistency reserve for later use.

In a medium pan, over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and minced garlic.  Cook until slightly browned, add almonds.  Stir until fragrant.

Add peppers to pan, stir occasionally until slowly bubbling, then add olive oil and reserve pepper juices.  Add Italian seasoning, sliced sausages, salt and pepper to taste.  About a pinch of each will do.

Allow to cook together on medium/medium-low for a few minutes.  Add parsley to pan, stir well.  Pour entire mixture over drained rigatoni.  Mix well to combine. Add in bread crumbs.  Stir again.  Add reserved pasta water 1/4 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency.  Serve immediately.

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