Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Sausage and Peppers Penne
I adapted this recipe from an old pampered chef recipe that I had. I love this recipe because everything (including the pasta) cooks in the same pot! It also makes a ton so I use it for company a lot! It's one of those recipes that makes great leftovers.
This is one of Alex's favorites. The sausage makes it a little spicy but my kids still gobble it down so it's not that hot! If you want to make it with less spice you can always substitute mild sausage for the hot Italian sausage.
Once you've tried it you will crave it all the time! In fact, this picture is making me hungry right now so I'm going to go ahead and put it on my weekly menu for next week. Yum!
Sausage and Peppers Penne
5 hot Italian sausage links (they usually come in packs of 5)
1 green bell pepper (sliced into strips)
1 red bell pepper (sliced into strips)
1/2 medium yellow onion (sliced into strips)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (really just a dash if you don't want it spicy)
4 cups penne pasta (a 1 lb. package of penne is about 4 cups)
4 cups water
1 jar spaghetti sauce (any kind works but I usually use the sun-dried tomato basil Ragu)
dash of salt
dash of pepper
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella (I usually top the skillet with about 1 cup and then have the rest in a bowl for people to top their own with as much as they like)
Remove casings from sausage and then cut meat into 1 inch pieces. Brown meat in a large pan or skillet. When meat is done, add bell peppers and onion and cook until tender. Add garlic and pepper flakes. Stir well.
Add uncooked pasta, water, sauce, salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is done, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and parmesan until sauce is smooth. Top with 1/2 cup to 1 cup mozzarella. Place the rest of the mozzarella on the table for people to top their pasta with later. Enjoy!
Freezer Meal Prep and Cooking Instructions:
Cook italian sausage until done. In a gallon sized freezer bag combine sausage, bell pepper strips, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, garlic, spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper. Cut cream cheese into small chunks and add to sauce along with grated parmesan.
Pour dry pasta in another gallon sized freezer bag, release any extra air from bag and seal tightly.
Place the shredded mozzarella in a small sandwich bag. Place all three bags (sauce, pasta, cheese) inside another gallon sized freezer bag and freeze.
When ready to serve: Thaw sauce and pour into a large stock pot. Cook until heated through. Add 4 cups water and pasta and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is al dente and veggies are tender. Top with mozzarella and enjoy!