This is less a recipe and more a simple meal plan to get dinner on the table on a given busy weeknight. Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, and a simple tomato ragu come together to create a hearty and delicious pasta dish that’s ready in 20 minutes. I use tortiglioni, which gets coated nicely in the sauce and cheese and has a nice al dente bite with each forkful. Buon Appetito!
Weeknight Italian Sausage and Pepper Tortiglioni
(Serves 4, with leftovers)
- 1 lb. tortiglioni pasta
- 3-4 Italian sausage links (hot or mild, according to taste), cut into bite-size slices, casings removed
- olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, cut into semi-circle ringlets
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- spices: dried oregano, red pepper flakes (pinches, to taste)
- 2 bell peppers (orange, red, and/or yellow), cut into strips
- 2 cans/small cartons of chunky tomatoes
- salt & pepper
- handful of spinach (optional)
- freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions for an al dente bite. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown the sausage on both sides over medium heat. Push the sausage to the sides of the pan and add the onion, cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes, or until onion becomes soft and translucent. Make a well in the center and add the garlic and spices, cook until fragrant. Add the sliced bell peppers and cook until slightly softened, then add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until all is cooked through. If using spinach, add in the last couple minutes of simmering. Taste and season with salt & pepper.
Serve family-style at the table in a large bowl with the sauce mixed into the drained pasta. Top each plateful with a generous sprinkling of cheese. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day.