sausage, peppers, and orecchiette

I am not really a meat eater. That is not to say I am a vegetarian. I just normally prefer vegetables and, if I am making dinner for myself, I am normally cooking vegetables and grains.

But this is rather difficult when you are cooking for someone who thinks it is weird if meat is not included in a meal. So I often try and cook something that will make us both happy.

This meal suits both of our palettes. I take a teeny bit of sausage and a lot of peppers and onions and the Hubs takes a bunch of sausage and a little bit of peppers.
serves 4

1/2 lb. orecchiette pasta
4 links Italian sausage
1/2 yellow onion, chopped large
1 red bell pepper, chopped large
1 orange bell pepper, chopped large
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped large
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce (or homemade sauce)*
optional: red pepper flakes* and Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to directions on the box.
2. Saute sausages whole in a little bit of olive oil until nicely browned.
3. Remove the sausage from pan and cut into slices (or smaller if you prefer). Return to pan.
4. Add onion, peppers, garlic, and red pepper flakes to pan. Cook until onions and peppers are tender and sausage is cooked through.
5. Add sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Serve over pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Note 1: For the longest time, I was against getting jarred sauce because, being Italian, I grew up on mostly homemade sauce. But I have come to find that there are some very good sauces in jars which are great for a quick weeknight meal. Just make sure you read the label and see what the ingredients are. (Another option: I make a HUGE pot of spaghetti sauce at the beginning of the winter and freeze the rest of it in small batches to use through the winter.)

Note 2: Since we had hot Italian sausage on hand, I didn't use the red pepper flakes but I would have with normal sausage. You could also make this meal healthier by using chicken or turkey Italian sausage.


  1. i have been making variations of this meal for awhile now, super easy to make a lot and save the rest, so great for us single ladies.

    i always add tons of red pepper for flavor. i make my own sauce, using canned whole tomatoes off season in the winter. i add some heavy cream to thicken it at the very end.

    frozen shrimp are another, more calorie conscious option.


  2. Nice compromise! The Hubs is one lucky guy.

  3. Oh nom, I love the shrimp idea. Will probs try making with those.


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