Sunday, 31 January 2010

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

This is one of Wes' most requested dishes. I like to make it because it's hearty, low fat, easy, and there is no way to screw it up. You can adapt the recipe easily if you're feeding a lot of people or there is just two of you.

There's a similar recipe to what I make in the Pampered Chef It's Good For You cookbook. I've changed it a bit, mainly because I can't find hot Italian turkey sausage in Ireland so I had to adapt. I use Marks and Spencer's reduced fat pork sausages, but you can use any sausage you like.I used penne pasta because that's what I had on hand, but I've used rotini and farfalle. Whole wheat pasta also tastes really nice with this. Any short pasta will do!

Sausage and Peppers Pasta

400g uncooked pasta
300g reduced fat sausage (I used 5 links from the M&S pack)
1 each red, yellow, and green pepper cut into large chunks
1 medium onion cut into large chunks
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp red pepper flake
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste

This will make enough for 4 generous servings. 

1. Chop the garlic and vegetables and put to the side.

2. Heat a large, lidded skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Either cut the sausage into 1 in. pieces or just blob them out of the casings into little 1 in. balls. That's my preferred method. I think the little meatball shapes are cute. I got about 5 blobs from each sausage. Cook the sausage until it's lightly brown on the outside.

3. Once the sausage is brown, throw in all the chopped vegetables. After this cooks for a few minutes, throw in the garlic. If you put it in too early it will burn. Actually, when I made it on this go around I almost forgot to put the garlic in, so it went in after the tomatoes. No problem. Still tasted great!

4. Add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, red pepper flake, salt and pepper. They didn't have chopped tomatoes at the store, so I used peeled whole tomatoes. I just crushed them in my hands as I was pouring them into the pan. If you like really spicy, just add a little more red pepper flake. Stir everything together, put the lid on it, turn it down to medium (or 3 out of 6 on my stove). You'll let this cook for 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft.

5. It takes forever for my stove to heat up, so as soon as I put the lid on this, I start heating up the water to cook the pasta. If you're lucky enough to have a fast stove, wait about 10 minutes to start your water. Follow the directions on the package, but you should cook the pasta al dente since it will soak up some of the sauce. Over cooked pasta is yucky. The sauce can sit for a few minutes with the lid on, so it's better if your sauce finishes before your pasta and not the other way around.

6. Drain the pasta and pour it into the sauce. Stir together well and add the cheese if you'd like.

I serve this with garlic bread I've made using ciabatta bread, chopped garlic, olive oil, and italian seasoning.


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