Pasta with Sausage and Peppers
Sausages are frequently combined with Bell Peppers in Italian cuisine, and the various permutations on the basic theme are just about endless. When grilled or fried together, often with onions or tomatoes as well as other seasonings, they make a great sandwich filling and they can even be served cold as an antipasto dish. With extra tomatoes, the mix, as shown above, makes for a delicious sauce over pasta.
The Recipe Card below calls for Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage. This will mean nothing to an Italian, of course, but in this part of the world, and most places outside Italy, I suspect, supermarkets will generally carry something with this name. Choose whatever sausage you like, but I favor a spicy hot ‘Italian’ variety, aromatic with fennel, that is locally available. Here I am using pre-cooked sausage which speeds up the cooking time, but also allows for additional flavor by grilling the individual slices.
I am using fresh Bell Peppers here, but I have often paired Italian Sausage with the some my homemade Roasted Red Peppers, especially for Antipasto dishes. That would work here very nicely, but you would likely want to add these to the pan during the last couple of minutes of cooking.
I have used Spaghetti here, as this is my favorite, but the nature of the ‘sauce’ is such that Penne, or Rotini may actually be more suitable. Your choice, of course, but make sure that the ‘cooked Pasta’ called for below is freshly cooked, ideally by putting it on to boil as you begin preparing the sauce.
First, slice the onion lengthwise into thin slivers and do the same with the Bell Peppers, then chop the tomatoes into small dice and cut the Jalapeño into very thin slivers. You can slice the sausage however you like but cutting on the bias makes for an attractive preparation. Most recipes start with uncooked sausage but I find that pre-cooking helps to get rid of a lot of the greasy fat that can make the end result a little too cloying.
If you like, you can now put your pasta on to cook as it will be ready more or less by the time the sauce is finishing. To begin, you can simply heat your sausage in a fry-pan or, do as shown above, and cook them in a ridged pan to get some nice grill marks and add a bit of smoky flavor. Once done, set them aside and keep them warm.
Next, turn the heat under your pan to very high and quickly fry the onion and bell pepper strips until they soften and begin to in places. When this is done, transfer everything to the same receptacle as the sausage slices and keep warm.
Add 4 Tablespoons of good quality olive oil to the pan and put in the garlic. Add the tomatoes and cook down to a nice sauce. You will need to add water (or even a little white wine) to the pan to keep a good liquid level as the tomato flesh breaks down. If you are cooking the pasta at the same time, some of the pasta cooking water will do just fine.
Finally, add the herbs and Jalapeno along with the salt and pepper and, after a minute or so, add back the sausages, onion and peppers. Cook through and serve over the pasta. Garnish with a little chopped parsley if desired and pass grated cheese at the table.
Your Recipe Card:
Pasta with Sausage and Peppers
- 2 pre-cooked Italian Sausages Sweet or Hot;
- 3 small Peppers red, yellow, and orange;
- 1 small Jalapeño;
- 1 medium to large Tomato;
- ½ a small Onion;
- 1 tsp. chopped Garlic;
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped Thyme;
- 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped Parsley;
- 1 pinch each Salt and Pepper;
- 2 portions cooked Pasta of choice.
- Slice the Onion, Bell Pepper, and Jalapeño into thin slivers, slice the Sausage into sections on the bias, and finely dice the Tomatoes.
- Fry the sausage slices in a pan to heat through, or on a ridged grill pan to produce grill marking. Set aside and keep warm.
- Fry the Onion and Bell Peppers until softened and starting to brown in places. Remove to the same receptacle as the sausages.
- Heat 4 Tablespoons of Oil in a pan over high heat and add the Garlic, followed a few moments later by the Tomatoes.
- Cook the Tomatoes down to form a sauce, adding Water, White wine or pasta cooking water as necessary to produce the desired volume and consistency.
- Finally, add the herbs and Jalapeno along with the salt and pepper and, after a minute or so, add back the sausages, onion and peppers.
- Cook through and serve over the pasta. Garnish with a little chopped parsley if desired and pass grated cheese at the table.