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Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta

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Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta Recipe

Introduction

Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta is a delightful, robust dish that brings together the flavors of succulent Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, and hearty pasta in a rich tomato sauce. Perfect for a comforting family dinner or a special occasion, this dish is both simple to prepare and deeply satisfying. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make this flavorful pasta dish.

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Ingredients

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

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  • 1 pound of spicy Italian sausage: You can choose between sausage links or ground sausage. If using links, remove the casings before cooking.
  • 1 pound of pasta: Penne, rigatoni, or any tubular pasta works best to catch the sauce.
  • 3 bell peppers: Use a mix of red, yellow, and green for a colorful presentation, sliced into thin strips.
  • 1 large onion: Thinly sliced.
  • 4 cloves of garlic: Minced.
  • 1 can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes: For the base of the sauce.
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of diced tomatoes: Adds texture to the sauce.
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth: To enhance the flavor of the sauce.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano: For a classic Italian herb flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil: Complements the oregano and adds depth to the sauce.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes: Adds extra heat to the dish. Adjust to taste.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil: For sautéing the vegetables and sausage.
  • Fresh parsley: Chopped, for garnish.
  • Parmesan cheese: Grated, for serving.

Instructions

1. Prepare the Ingredients

Before you begin cooking, ensure all your ingredients are prepped. Slice the bell peppers and onions thinly, mince the garlic, and measure out your spices. Having everything ready will make the cooking process smoother and more enjoyable.

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2. Cook the Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the pasta water, and set aside.

3. Brown the Sausage

In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking it into smaller pieces with a spatula. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Once browned, remove the sausage from the pan and set it aside, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.

4. Sauté the Vegetables

In the same skillet, add the sliced onions and bell peppers. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

5. Make the Sauce

Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth to the skillet with the vegetables. Stir to combine. Add the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

6. Combine the Sausage and Pasta

Return the browned sausage to the skillet, stirring to combine it with the sauce. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

7. Adjust Seasonings

Taste the pasta and sauce, adjusting the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to your preference. If the dish needs a little more heat, add more red pepper flakes. If it needs more depth, consider adding a bit more oregano or basil.

8. Serve and Garnish

Serve the Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. The fresh parsley adds a touch of color and a burst of freshness, while the Parmesan provides a salty, savory finish.

Tips and Variations

  • Mild Option: If you prefer a milder dish, use sweet Italian sausage instead of spicy, and omit the red pepper flakes.
  • Vegetable Additions: Add other vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach for extra nutrition and variety.
  • Cheese Variations: Try adding a dollop of ricotta or a sprinkle of mozzarella for a creamy twist.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta to make this dish suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.

Conclusion

Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta is a versatile and crowd-pleasing dish that is sure to become a favorite in your household. The combination of spicy sausage, sweet peppers, and a rich tomato sauce creates a harmonious blend of flavors that pairs perfectly with pasta. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal to enjoy on a weeknight or a dish to impress guests at a dinner party, this recipe is a fantastic choice. Enjoy your cooking and bon appétit!

Source: playswellwithbutter.com

Yield: 4

Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta

Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta is a delightful, robust dish that brings together the flavors of succulent Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, and hearty pasta in a rich tomato sauce. Perfect for a comforting family dinner or a special occasion, this dish is both simple to prepare and deeply satisfying. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make this flavorful pasta dish.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rigatoni or short pasta of choice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk mild, sweet, or spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced (approx. ½ cup diced)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (approx. ½ cup diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • up to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup dry, unoaked white wine
  • one 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • for serving, as desired: grated parmesan, finely chopped fresh basil leaves, finely chopped fresh parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, etc.

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta: Generously season a large pot of water & bring to a boil. Add the rigatoni & cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is 2-3 minutes under al dente (“al dente” cooking time is typically included in package directions). Drain the pasta – do not rinse! – & set aside.
  2. Soften the aromatics & brown the sausage: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot & shimmering, add the sausage, bell pepper, & onion, seasoning with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Using a wooden spoon to break the sausage into fine, bite-sized crumbles as it renders, cook until the sausage is rendered & the veggies are fragrant, 5-7 minutes. The sausage should brown nicely & the veggies should soften – if anything starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low. Add in the garlic & crushed red pepper flake, cooking until just fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
  3. Build the tomato sauce: Stir the tomato paste into the skillet, stirring to coat the sausage & veggies. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until deeply red. Deglaze the pan by slowly pouring in the white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Once the wine is almost completely cooked off, stir in the crushed tomatoes & parmesan. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to thicken slightly & build flavor. Taste & adjust seasoning accordingly.
  4. Finish the pasta: Once the sausage & peppers have simmered in the tomato sauce, add the pasta to the skillet & toss to coat. Adjust as needed so the sausage and peppers sauce evenly coats the pasta – if the mixture is too thick, toss in a little reserved pasta water; if the mixture is too loose, turn up the heat or toss in an extra handful of parmesan cheese, etc. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, allowing the pasta to meld with & absorb some of the tomato sauce. Remove from the heat.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with additional grated parmesan, chopped basil or parsley, &/or a sprinkling of crushed red pepper, as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Sausage: I highly recommend opting for full-fat pork sausage for this sausage and peppers pasta recipe, as its natural richness helps build an especially flavorful sauce in a relatively short amount of time. I love the way the light heat of spicy sausage helps balance the natural sweetness of tomatoes, but if you prefer to use mild or sweet Italian sausage, it’ll work great. If you prefer to use leaner ground turkey sausage or meatless crumbles, they will work – plan to use an extra tablespoon of olive oil to help compensate for the richness of pork sausage.
  • White wine: The addition of white wine helps create complex flavor in the spicy sausage and peppers sauce despite its short simmer time. Dry, unoaked white wines work best – I often cook with Pinot Grigio. If you cannot do not have white wine on hand, you can substitute with dry vermouth for this recipe. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, substitute with an equal amount of chicken stock with a splash of apple cider vinegar whisked into it.

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