After typing it this title sounds like a tongue twister. One that is completely worth it for this delicious dish! As the weather gets colder and the wind starts blowing in its usual fall fashion, I am drawn to the warm, comforting dishes of fall. One can never have too many pasta casseroles up their sleeve since they are easy to assemble and can feed a crowd. I created this recipe three winters ago and it has remained a steady part of my pasta repertoire. It combines everything that is wonderful about Italian sausage and peppers… and adds pasta! Sausage and peppers can be served a variety of ways: with cheese and steak for the much adored Philly cheese-steak sandwiches, with Mexican spices for fajitas, or as a topping for pizza. All of these ways are good, but I am a big fan of one pan dinners, so I pair mine with pasta (plus who doesn’t secretly love all the carbs in pasta?).
In this recipe I use vegetarian meatless Italian sausage from Trader Joe’s. I encourage you to swap this ingredient out for your favorite Italian sausage or chicken sausage. When I created this dish I was 100% vegetarian, and haven’t made the switch in the recipe since. I enjoy a mixture of colors in regards to the bell peppers also, but if you have a favorite just use those!
- 1 lb short cut pasta, such as penne
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 4 vegetarian meatless Italian sausage links, sliced thin
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jars prepared marinara sauce
- 1 c. mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large pan and add onions. Give the onions a 5-8 minute head start and then add the sliced sausages. Cook for 5 or so minutes until the sausage begins to brown. Next toss in the bell peppers and garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the peppers begin to soften.
Toss pasta into boiling water and season water with salt, if desired. Cook pasta according to the package directions; you are looking for al dente because the pasta will continue to cook in the oven. Drain pasta and mix with one jar marinara sauce. Once well combined, add in the sausage and veggie mixture and second jar of marinara sauce.
Pour into a BIG casserole dish and top with mozzarella cheese (parmesan would also work). Bake in the oven until the cheese is browned and all the flavors are combined. Serve with my fall inspired salad (recipe below) and enjoy!
- 1 bag pre-washed baby spinach
- 2 Gala apples, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1/3 c. dried cranberries
- 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
- 1/4 c. goat cheese crumbles (optional)
- Serve with balsamic dressing
Mix all ingredients in a salad bowl and toss to combine. Serve dressing on the side. This salad has inviting colors and some of my favorite flavors for fall. Also a great way to use up all those fall apples from the market! Enjoy!