Recipe: Sausage and Pepper Pasta
I love pasta. I’m fairly certain that I’ve mentioned it before. My ultimate comfort food is spaghetti and red sauce with salty Parmesan cheese… my mouth is watering just thinking about it (no joke). I always have pasta in my pantry and almost always have canned crushed tomatoes on hand too. It’s been a joke among my family that we are all part Mexican because of our love for Tex-Mex, but I must also be part Italian because I could easily alternate between quesadillas, pasta, and tacos every day of the week.
One of my favorite pasta dishes is sausage and pepper pasta. I have no idea how I came to make this, but it’s easy enough for a quick weeknight meal but nice enough to make for someone special this Valentine’s Day. Using mild or sweet Italian turkey sausage lightens the dish up, but if you can’t find turkey sausage at your local grocery store, regular Italian sausage works just fine too!
When I first started making this dish I used sweet Italian turkey sausage links. I would cook the links whole in a skillet, and every single time they would burst. Then I would have to take them out of the pan, let them rest while I was making the sauce, then slice them and add them back. After a handful of times doing this I decided that I would just use the filling inside the casing and make it like a meat sauce. It’s a little messy up front, but totally worth it in the end I think. If you can find bulk Italian turkey sausage, even better!
Sausage and Pepper Pasta
Step 1: Slice bell peppers into relatively short strips and chop onion and garlic
Step 2: Brown the sausage (out of casing)
Step 3: Add peppers, onion, and garlic and sautee
Step 5: Add crushed tomatoes and chopped stewed tomatoes *more on the stewed tomatoes below*
Step 5: Cover and simmer while your pasta cooks
What you need:
1 package of sweet Italian turkey sausage links or 1 pound of mild/sweet italian sausage
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, sliced (any color)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
14.5 oz can, crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz can, whole stewed tomatoes*
16 oz pasta of your choosing**
What to do:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
If using linked sausages, remove the filling from casings.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add sausage, breaking the meat up as it browns.
Once the sausage is browned, add peppers, onion, and garlic. Saute on medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Remove the whole stewed tomatoes and roughly chop. Add these and the crushed tomatoes to the pan. Salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover. Let this simmer while your pasta is cooking. If you can, let it cook though for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors marry.
When the pasta is ready, serve the saucy sausage goodness over it, or better yet, mix the pasta with the sauce. Top with Parmesan and/or mozzarella.
*The reason I suggest using whole stewed tomatoes and chopping them is because they have a distinctly different texture and taste than canned diced tomatoes. Also by rough chopping them it gives the sauce a more rustic feel.
**Although you are welcome to use any short or long pasta, I highly recommend using Barilla’s new Collezione Bucatini. It’s like super thick spaghetti with a whole in the middle. It’s amazing and by far my favorite type of pasta at the moment.