One of my go-to dishes is sausage and peppers because it's so easy to make, requires minimal ingredients, and is versatile. I usually keep some hot Italian sausages in the freezer, and as long as I have tomato sauce, garlic, onions, and peppers, I'm pretty much all set to make this whenever the craving strikes. You can adjust the recipe to be spicy or not spicy; it's totally up to you.
This is wonderful served over pasta, but it's also really good on polenta, as a pizza topping, or as a calzone stuffing. Or you can just pile it in a bowl and eat away! Grate some fresh Parmesan or Romano over it; it pairs well with garlic bread and a hearty red wine, too.
This meal is the ultimate answer to my midweek dinner dilemma. Just a few ingredients (most of which I always have on hand), it comes together fast and with little effort, and best of all, it's absolutely delicious. Heading into fall, with the first hint of a chill in the air, this is exactly the kind of comforting and cozy dinner I'll be keeping by my side.
I took Kathryn's advice and served this over a creamy bowl of polenta. But really, I could totally see eating this all on its own, or maybe even tucking it into a fresh Italian roll and eating it as a sandwich.
- Kelli, October 2015
Easy Sausage & Peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch-thick strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 uncooked Italian sausages (approximately 3/4 pound), sweet or spicy
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped Italian hot cherry peppers (optional)
2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or your favorite bottled sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toss the pepper strips in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle a little salt on them, and place them on a baking sheet under the broiler until they are tender and the skins start to blacken, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the onions in the remaining olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit in the sausage casing along the entire length of the sausage. Remove the sausage from the casing, add it to the pan with the onions, and discard the casing. As the sausage cooks and browns, use a wooden spoon to break it up into crumbly pieces. Continue cooking the sausage until nicely browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted bell peppers to the pan, along with the chopped cherry peppers, if you're using them. Now add the tomato sauce and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and let the whole thing simmer for about 10 minutes until the thin liquids have evaporated and the whole thing has a nice, saucy texture. Taste and season if needed.
- You can also use bulk sausage without casings.
This recipe has been updated - first published November 2009.
(Image credits: Kelli Foster)