Monday, June 21, 2010

Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage & Peppers

I improvised this from what I had on hand tonight. It's so easy and super impressive. I highly recommend trying it. You can of course use Italian turkey sausage instead of the traditional pork sausage to lower the fat. It'd also work with whole wheat pasta :)

1 lb of "gnocchi" pasta - this calls for the dry version - not the "fresh" version. See the photo for details. It's like a medium shell shaped pasta - Joseph's had Racconto pasta on sale for $.79/lb last week. I stocked up.

4-6 links of Italian Sausage - I used sweet Italian sausage, but spicy or turkey would be awesome too.

6 cloves garlic

1 small red onion - chopped into 1/4" x 1" slices

1 red pepper - also chopped into 1/4" x 1" slices (I like to make the veggies the same general size of the pasta so it's easy and interesting to eat)

2 plum/roma tomatoes


1/2 tsp spicy red pepper flakes

1/4 cup of minced fresh basil (I mixed some oregano in too since I had it growing)

1/4 cup of minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup grated sharp Italian cheese (like parm or romano)

Get a large pot of water on to boil - add a few tbsp of salt. Chop the veggies. Score your tomato skins into quarters.

When the water boils, drop the tomatoes in for 10-15 seconds. Scoop out and put into a cold water bath.

This makes them easy to peel. Peel from the bottom up. EASY!

Chop 'em up, seeds and all. About 1/2" pieces.  The water is boiling so add the pasta and cook according to directions.

Get a deep skillet hot and add a few tbsp of olive oil. *(you can omit this step if you want to grill your sausages) Add the sausage links and brown them up. This will take about 10 minutes. They will be about 75% cooked when you pull them out. Still slightly pink in the middle.

Remove them and slice them into about 1/2" slices. Set aside. (It will be slightly pink inside, we will finish cooking it in a minute)

Add your peppers, onions and 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pan. Cook about 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes and combine. Season with salt & red pepper flakes.

Cook this mixture until it the tomatoes break down.  Add the sausage and 2 more cloves of garlic into the veggie pan. combine well.

The pasta should be done so drain it and add it right to the pan with the sausage & veggies. Add 2 more cloves of minced garlic. Combine. Add in the minced basil & cheese. Combine yet again.

Top with a little grated cheese and some parsley. Sooo delicious.

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