Thank you to everyone who has supported me this week for the “launch” of Cowtown Cook. I really appreciate all of your feedback and encouragement. I posted every day last week to kick things off, but now I will be settling into a more manageable routine of posting on Sunday evenings.
It seems like such a luxury lately to just have a weekend at home, in town and not have set plans. Fortunately, I lucked out and this was one of those weekends. My husband and I just enjoyed some downtime together and I cooked one of our favorite “comfort food” meals. Italian food is my guilty pleasure and I could literally eat pasta every day of my life. I started making this particular dish when I was in college and have just tweaked it over the years. I love the combination of the spicy and sweet Italian sausage with the peppers and marsala wine. I always make a large batch – it is great to serve for a group dinner or better yet just to have leftovers – I think it’s almost better the next day. I like to serve with a green salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!
Italian Sausage Pepper Pasta
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/2 - 3/4 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage
- 1/2 - 3/4 Pound Hot Italian Sausage
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
- 1 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
- 1 Small White Onion, Sliced Thin
- 2 - 3 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- Salt and Pepper, To Taste
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Italian Seasoning (I sometimes add more to taste)
- 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/3 Cup Marsala Wine
- 1 (28 oz.) Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil
- 1 Package Rigatoni or Penne Noodles, Cooked Al Dente
- 1/2 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
- Step 1 Heat olive oil in large sauce pan or skillet and cook sausage over medium high heat until lightly browned. (Note I use ground sausage if available and if not I remove the casing prior to cooking).
- Step 2 Remove meat from pan and set aside.
- Step 3 Saute the bell peppers and onions in the remaining oil from the meat for 3 – 4 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and cook for one more minute. (Note that you do not want to get the vegetables too tender at this step because they will continue to cook in the sauce.)
- Step 4 Add the sausage back into the pan.
- Step 5 Add the tomato paste and coat the sausage and pepper mixture. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, Marsala wine and crushed tomatoes. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Once the sauce begins to bubble on the surface, stir in the fresh basil and reduce heat to low.
- Step 6 Let the sauce cook for 30 minutes.
- Step 7 In the meantime, preheat the over to 350 degrees and cook the pasta al dente per package directions.
- Step 8 After you have strained the pasta add the noodles into the sauce and stir well.
- Step 9 Once combined, transfer the pasta and sauce to a casserole dish and top with cheese.
- Step 10 Cook for 25 – 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly on the surface.