Baked Sausage and Pepper Pasta
Do you ever get a craving for Ooey-gooey-saucy-cheesy pasta? I do, and I did! We had the promise of spring and then just like that, our dreams were dashed and we were reminded it’s still February. So after getting another snowfall ❄️❄️❄️ I receded back into my extra snuggly comfies (I know, hot right???) and I inhaled this slightly spicy-cheesy-saucy-goodness and at that moment, all was well in my wintery part of the world.
Serves 8 -10
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
453 g Italian sausage (mild or hot – I used pork), out of casings
1 Medium onion, sliced into sticks
1 Small red pepper, sliced
1 Small orange pepper, sliced
1 Small yellow pepper, sliced
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 Cup wine (red or white)
680 ml jar passata
1 Cup sodium-reduced stock (I used beef)
1/2 tsp salt, plus more
1/2 tsp pepper, plus more
4 Cups rigatoni (or pasta of your choice), cooked according to package directions
1 Cup grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat your oven to 375.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat, when it’s hot (it will ripple) add the sausage meat to the oil.
Break up the meat using a spoon and brown until cooked through and the crumbles are crispy and crunchy.
Drain any excess fat from the pan (don’t wipe it clean though) and return the meat to the pan.
Add in the onion, red pepper, orange pepper and yellow pepper; season with salt and pepper.
Sauté for 5 minutes, until the veggies start to soften and brown; add in the garlic.
Sauté for about 30 seconds, careful not to let the garlic burn.
Turn the heat up to high and add the wine, scape the bottom of the pan to release any flavours (deglazing).
After the wine has cooked out (about 30 seconds to a minute), turn the heat down to medium and add the passata.
Pour the beef stock into the empty jar of tomatoes and swish it around to release any of the tomato that may be remaining and add it to the pan; stir well.
Add in the ½ tsp each salt and pepper; mix well.
Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the sauce (if it doesn’t fit then combine the sauce and pasta in the pot you used to cook the pasta in) – mix well.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Transfer to a (lightly greased) casserole dish and top evenly with the mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes carefully remove the foil (slowly so you can control the cheese sticking) and return the pan to the oven (uncovered) for another 10 minutes.
Place the casserole under the broiler, watching it the entire time, until the cheese is bubbly and slightly charred.
Let the pan sit for 5 – 10 minutes prior to serving.
- Feel free to use stock in place of wine.
- Feel free to use any (sodium-reduced) stock of your choosing.
- Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional).