Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sausage & Peppers Pasta Bowl ~ Light, Fresh & Flavorful

My heart is heavy from the events that took place in my home city last week. Every morning, I get up and think of the victims and their families. I pray for them and for beautiful Boston, for healing and for peace.

Sitting down to a cozy bowl of pasta and a glass of red wine is one way to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Sunday dinner with my husband will always be a small, good comfort when it's needed most. 

Sausage & Pepper Pasta Bowl Recipe

Some Notes:

This recipe is very high in healthy lycopene and vitamin C. It has lots of bright, fresh veggies. It's light but full of Italian flavor.

Fresh tomatoes are sauteed in a little bit of olive oil to release their juices, creating a light sauce.

Chicken or turkey sausage is baked to avoid frying it. Baking it also keeps the sausage juicy and moist. While the veggies are sauteing, the sausage is cooking in the oven. Everything gets tossed together with pasta for a welcoming Italian supper.

Along with the sausage, woodsy rosemary and smoky roasted peppers play off each other, lending  Tuscan flavors to this dish. Some grated Parmesan and red chili flakes are excellent finishing touches.

Serves 4-6

You'll Need:
  • 1 16 ounce package of Italian chicken or turkey sausage
  • 3 bell peppers, your choice of colors. I used green, red and yellow. Cut them in half and seed them and place them cut side down on a foil-lined baking tray.
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced with a garlic press or a microplane zester.
  • extra virgin olive oil for cooking, I used unfiltered.
  • 2  12.5 ounce containers of cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size.
  • fresh rosemary to taste. Use it sparingly because it's strong. You can also use dried rosemary instead.
  • sea salt or kosher salt to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper or red chili flakes to taste
  • Parmesan cheese and rosemary flat bread(recipe below) for serving
  • 1 16 oz package of pasta, cooked according to the package directions. I used an imported Italian fusilli.

The Rundown: 

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Preheat the broiler on high. Place peppers cut side down on a tin foil lined baking tray and broil them, close to the flame, until their skins are blistered and blackened in most places. Put the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with tin foil or cling wrap to let them steam. Their skins will come off easier this way.

Preheat the oven to 375. Cook sausage in the oven, in an oven safe baking pan, for about 20-25 minutes or until done. Be careful not to overcook or they'll be dry. Set aside, covered with foil.     

Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a large nonstick saute pan with a little olive oil. Add minced garlic and warm the garlic, over medium-low heat, so it infuses the oil. Do not let the garlic burn or brown. It should be warmed through, but not fully cooked. Add the tomatoes almost immediately after you've warmed the garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Gently cook the tomatoes until they start to release some of their juices, creating a light sauce. This should take about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Keep the tomatoes and garlic warm, on a very low flame, while you peel the skins off the roasted peppers and chop them into small pieces. Add the peeled and chopped roasted peppers to the pan with the tomatoes. Add a pinch more salt and pepper. Once the sausages are done, slice them into thin rounds and stir into the pan with the tomatoes and peppers. Sprinkle with a little fresh rosemary and cook to warm everything through. Toss the sausage and peppers mixture with cooked pasta. Add a drizzle more olive oil. Pass the Parmesan cheese and red chili flakes at the table. Serve with my easy rosemary flat bread and enjoy!  

Rosemary, Parmesan & Sea Salt Flat Bread

Preheat the oven to 400.

Take a ball of store bought pizza dough and roll into 12 inch round shape. Use a dusting of flour to help you roll it out. It doesn't have to be perfect. Place the 12 inch round dough onto a pizza pan or a baking pan. Brush some olive oil on it, sprinkle some sea salt, black pepper/red chili flakes and grated Parmesan cheese over the entire round. Bake it in a preheated oven for about 15 minute. Once it's done, sprinkle it with fresh rosemary and serve. Enjoy!    


  1. This would make a perfect weeknight dinner - easy to make and filling! Looks appetizing!

  2. Thanks Julia! I took it to work with me. People wanted the recipe. So I thought I'd post it. I've gotta pop on over to your blog to see what you're cooking. You always make delish food!