Sausage Pasta with Peppers: A twist on your typical sausage and peppers, this skillet sausage pasta is an incredible old family favorite meal that’s perfect for cookouts, potlucks, for camping and beach dinners.
A long time ago, in the harried rush to get a weekend’s worth of food, clothes, and activities for 4 people together before heading out on our family’s boat to Davis Park on Fire Island, Long Island, my mom came across this recipe. Looking back, I can’t imagine how she did all of this nearly every weekend from the end of June through Labor Day weekend for at least 4 summers in a row.
Nonetheless, I remember the night she tried this sausage pasta with peppers recipe on us as we squeezed into the 4 person dinette in our boat’s tiny cabin. At the age of 11 or 12, I know that I most likely turned up my nose at eating green peppers. Not a surprise, though, because I always turned my nose up at the prospect of having to eat green peppers.
I ate the sausage pasta anyway (and probably picked out a lot of the peppers) but we all loved it! This was an easy and relatively inexpensive skillet meal for my mom to make at home, pack in the cooler, and serve cold on the boat.
By eating it cold, my mom avoided having to heat up the already overheated and sickeningly humid boat cabin. And it prevented my dad from having to stand over the grill in the rain with an umbrella (how can you get through a few weekends in the summer without it raining??) trying to cook us dinner. This became a much-loved dish in my family for years to come.
Fast-forward about 10 or 12 years to the night when my whole family brought dinner to my grandma who was in the hospital recovering from a knee replacement. This Italian sausage pasta was the main course that night and it was the first time Kyle had ever tried it. I wasn’t much of a cook way back in the beginning of our relationship so our meals were even simpler than this one!
We got in the car that night and he said to me, “That was SO good. You have to find out how to make that.” And the rest is history. This is now in Kyle’s “Top 5” which also consists of my chicken parmesan, our one-pot creamy sausage pasta, this 3 cheese rosemary and pepperoni pizza, and our caprese pasta dish that I’ve yet to blog about.
Can you tell we like Italian food??
Looking at the picture above, it does look a little plain, but trust me, it’s FULL of deliciousness!
The sausage explodes with flavor when cooking it down with the wine, and I’ve found out through trial and error that the type of wine I use really does matter. Neither of us are wine drinkers (Kyle is allergic) so I don’t usually have “good” drinking wine in the house and had been using regular cooking wine you can find in the grocery store.
That all changed last night when the dish was taken to another level with the leftover Chardonnay from the fridge that I wanted to use up before it went bad. Amazing what some “good” drinking wine will do!! My mom’s original recipe is below with my modifications incorporated from my 15+ years of making it.
- 1 lb dry pasta shapes, like medium shells or elbow macaroni
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ lbs sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 green peppers, diced (about 3 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the sausage, breaking it up as you cook it until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the wine
and cook until it reduces by about half and thickens just a little bit. Transfer the sausage and sauce to a bowl, cover loosely with foil or a pot cover to keep the sausage warm, and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet with the onions and peppers, and saute over medium-high heat until almost tender while stirring often, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Return the sausage and all of the liquid from the bowl to the skillet. Add the parsley and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the cheese and pasta toss well to incorporate all of the ingredients together. Serve hot, warm, or cold with extra grated cheese.
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