Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ziti with Italian Sausage & Sweet Red Pepper Sauce

My mom had a Mexican themed party last weekend and bought a bunch of Ancient Sweet peppers and Poblano peppers for decorations on the tables....I ended up with them. So I concocted this recipe to use them up before they got wrinkley.  I love the Ancient Sweets because they are SOOOO sweet and barely have any ribs or seeds, so you are paying for all pepper, not a big heavy stem and seeds like in a normal bell pepper.

1 lb of ziti (or other short pasta) - I got mine for $.99/lb at Joseph's the other day

1 package of Italian sausage - I used sweet, but spicy would also be fantastic. Turkey Italian Sausage also works well.

3 Ancient Sweet Peppers (or red bell peppers)
1 Vidalia Onion (or other sweet onion)
1 head of garlic (yes...not just a clove, a whole head)
1 carrot
1 tomato (mine was from the garden...tasty and free!)

a couple tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
grated parmasan cheese
a small bunch of fresh herbs - I used parsley, basil & oregano from my herb garden

Get a deep skillet on medium high heat and start to brown the sausages. Also get a large pot of water on to boil....salt it liberally (a few tbsp of salt).
Get your food processor out (I totally love my new large one...makes my life so much easier) - roughly chop your onion, peppers, tomato and carrot. Toss 'em in. Smack your garlic and peel the cloves. Toss them ALL in. Process all the veggies until they are the consistency of soup.

See? Barely any seeds or ribs. So they may cost more per pound, but they are all pepper! No waste.

You may need to turn your sausages now. Keep moving them around until they are brown on all sides.   They will be about 3/4 of the way cooked through. Remove them and set aside.

Continue with your veggies. 

Use the same pan you cooked the sausage in and drizzle a tbsp of oil in. Add the veggies and get them simmering. Season with salt & pepper.

In the mean time while those are bubbling away, slice your sausage into about 1" pieces.  See? Just slightly pink on the inside.

Add them back into the pan with the veggie sauce.

Keep it simmering. The water should be boiling by now, so toss the pasta in!

Now de-stem your herbs and mince them up.  It's easiest if you bunch them all up and kind of roll them into a ball. Then just slide the knife through them quickly.

The sauce and sausages will simmer for about 10 minutes...about the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Keep simmering...

When the pasta is done, drain it and toss it into the sauce skillet. Toss it well. Add a small handful of grated cheese, the minced herbs and season with some salt & pepper.

Helllllooooo gorgeous!

Sprinkle with a little cheese on top...voila! Loaded with LOTS of hidden veggies. You kids will NEVER know that there are red peppers, carrots, tomatoes and onions in there.


Carleigh said...

This looks so very guuuuuuuud, Melissa.

Anonymous said...

I think I am going to make that this week. I have never thought of just puree everything for the sauce in the food processor. Great idea and it beats finely dicing up all those veggies.