Friday, May 27, 2011

Sausage and Roasted Peppers with Pasta

There's nothing I like better than a super simple, delicious, one-pot meal.  I really do enjoy more involved cooking as well, but that's more for special occasions, or weekends when I can spend a few hours prepping, and cooking.  Most of the time though I like to cook things in as little time as possible, so that I can sit down and relax a bit before the day ends.  This meal is a perfect dish for that quick, easy, versatile, and awesomely delicious meal.  I found it one day when I was trying to find something to make with the orecchiette pasta I had in my pantry.  As soon as I read the recipe I knew I had found the perfect one.  It's one of those meals I have made over and over again, and have not gotten bored off.  It's pretty foolproof too... and believe me, there have been times where I've cooked the peppers a little too long, or burnt the sausage a wee bit.... but still, I've never been disappointed with it.

Sausage and Roasted Peppers with Pasta
Serves 4-6

2-4 medium bell peppers (all red, all yellow, or a combination), sides cut off the core, stems and seeds discarded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta (orecchiette, penne, fusilli, etc.)
2 tsp olive oil
1 pound sausage (hot or sweet pork sausage, chicken sausage, turkey sausage), removed from casings
1 tbsp butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving

1.  Heat your broiler.  Place the peppers, skin side up, on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil.  Broil for 15-20 minutes on the top rack, until the skin is blackened.  Remove the peppers, place in a large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let steam for about 3 minutes.  Remove the pepper skins.  Cut the peppers into 1/4 inch pieces, return the pepper pieces to the bowl (with any accumulated juices), and set aside for now.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid before draining.
3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage, breaking it up while it cooks, until the sausage is thoroughly cooked and browned, about 7-10 minutes.  Add the peppers, and cook until they are heated through.
4.  At this point you can transfer the sausage and pepper mixture to a large serving bowl and add the pasta, butter, Parmesan, and reserved cooking liquid, or you can just add it all to the large skillet, which is what I prefer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine and serve.

Source: Great Food Fast


  • The original recipe calls for sweet Italian pork sausage, which I've tried, and it's great, but I think you can use any sausage that you prefer in this dish.  I've used hot Italian pork sausage which I like the best- the combination of the spicy sausage and the sweet roasted peppers is excellent!  I've also tried roasted red pepper chicken sausage, which was amazing!  If you use turkey or chicken sausage vs. pork it'll be a little less oily, but I haven't adjusted the quantity of the oil/butter/cooking liquid and I think it still makes a nice, coating sauce.  
  • When choosing your sausage, check the package to see whether it is precooked or not. If it's precooked, all you have to do is heat it up in the oil, rather than cooking it, so the cooking time will be less.  Don't do like I did and cook it way longer than needed, then have to dig the packaging out of the trash once you realize your sausage might just be cooked already.  It didn't hurt the flavor at all, and my sausage (I used chicken sausage this time) didn't burn, but it would have been good to know from the get go.
  • The more peppers the better in this meal, but since peppers sometimes cost a lot, and I am on a budget, a lot of the time I go with 2 peppers rather than 4.  It's still awesome, but if you can, get more peppers- it makes the dish that much more spectacular.


  1. This has become a favorite in our house as well. I really prefer chicken and turkey sausage over pork, especially the roasted red pepper and the garlic flavors, but I will give the hot italian a try next time. I made it once with red, orange, and yellow peppers and it was awesome and looked really pretty, but you need to wait for a good sale (or grow them yourself).

  2. Yeah, that roasted red pepper chicken sausage was one of the best combinations for this recipe. This time I used chicken sausage with red and green peppers, and it was also fantastic. I think it'd be really hard to pick a sausage that wouldn't taste good in this dish. I am awaiting those sales because I love the combination of colors when using a variety of pepper colors.