Friday, October 28, 2011

Sausage and Pepper Bake

Sausage and peppers is such a classic combination.  Often, we'll do Italian sausage and peppers simply tossed with pasta.  It is fantastic, but this complete meal allows you to be a little more flexible with your cooking and serving times.  You can prep and assemble everything the day before or a few hours ahead of time and then pop it in the oven before dinner.  Not to mention, you get that baked pasta texture with the crispy bits on the top and around the edges.

I used smoked turkey sausage for this because it has a completely unique flavor which gives the dish a decidedly delicious American spin.  Because it is cheap and fully cooked with a good (refrigerator) shelf life, you can always have it on hand.

Sausage and Pepper Bake
1 lrg onion, thinly sliced
1 lrg green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 lrg red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 7-oz link smoked turkey sausage, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1/4 red pepper flake (to taste and optional)
3 Tbsp red wine (or water)
12 oz penne pasta
1 C shredded mozzarella
~1/4 parmesan
( oil and cooking spray)

   Cooked pasta 2 minutes shy of package directions in salted water.
   In a little bit of oil (~2 tsp in a non stick skillet) over med heat, saute onions and peppers until tender, 5-7 minutes.  Remove from pan.
   Sear slices of sausage.  Add tomatoes, herbs and spices, wine, and pepper.  Simmer together for 4-5 minutes.  (Add salt to taste if tomatoes are "no salt added".)  Toss with pasta.
   Pour into a sprayed 13x9 baking dish.  Top with cheeses.
   Bake at 375 deg F for 15-20 minutes.
   *If made in advanced and dish has cooled or was refrigerated:  Cover dish, bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes.
   Serves 4 hearty portions.  (6 if you do salad and maybe some bread with it.)

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