Pasta with Italian Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes
Serves 4 to 6
This is an easy and delicious recipe, reminiscent of an Italian sausage sandwich, which is in the similar and related recipes links, but with extra tomatoes and served on pasta instead of in a roll. If you cannot find bulk sausage, get the links and remove the casings. I always like to cook with dried herbs then, when I have them on hand, add fresh at the very end, like the basil in this recipe. It adds a wonderful refreshing flavor but, if you do not have fresh, it can be omitted.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound bulk mild or hot Italian sausage
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 medium green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed slightly
- 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves, divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) whole tomatoes, crushed with fingers, with juices
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram leaves
- 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
- 1 pound cellentani, penne or similar pasta
- Freshly grated Romano cheese (can use Parmesan)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the sausage. Sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, breaking apart the lumps as it cooks. Add the onions, peppers, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon of the dried basil, a little salt and pepper; sauté until the peppers are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the tomatoes, remaining tablespoon of basil, thyme, marjoram, additional salt and pepper. Stir well to scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down and the peppers are tender, about 20 minutes. If desired, remove the lid and cook until sauce thickens slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain. Add the fresh basil to the sauce, then the pasta. Stir to combine and let set about 1 minute. Serve immediately, passing the grated cheese.