Mail it in Monday: an easy dinner!

Mad’s having her bath and so I thought it would be a good time to write up a post.  Plus I was a little camera happy today and actually remembered to have the darn thing handy around dinner time.

This is one of my go-to meals when I have new guests.  It’s also super easy, fast and delicious if I don’t say so myself.  One of my criteria for fast and easy meals is that they have to have few ingredients, few steps and can be ready in under 20 minutes.

This one does it (and I MADE IT UP!)  I’m sure someone else may have put these ingredients together at some point and perhaps even had them published in a cookbook.  But I haven’t seen it!

So here is my recipe for Sausage, Pepper and Pasta.
This will feed a family of four (okay, not a house w/ teenagers!) if you serve it with garlic bread…add a big salad and it may be enough for those can’t-feed-them-enough big eaters.

One package of bulk sausage (I don’t like spicy, but if you do, the italian sausage is an easy switch)
2/3 package of penne pasta (Hubs prefers a higher sausage to pasta ratio but use the whole box for the big eaters!)
One large onion
One to two large red peppers (I find they have the flavor and color to carry the dish, green, not so much.)
2-3 cloves of garlic
several leaves of fresh basil or 3-4 shakes of the dried stuff
shredded parmesan for the top.

Yeah, yeah, I got excited and took the pic before I finished chopping the peppers.

You can start the water boiling while you cut the onions.  I prefer to cut them in big chunks.  Everything is cut/chopped to about the same size.
Once you’ve added the pasta to boil, set the timer to 12 minutes and turn on the heat for the sausage.  Start chopping your pepper.

See the pic of the sausage.  It is chunky too.  Its important not to chop it up in the pan to little bits b/c you lose the impact its flavor and texture.

If you’re not a HUGE garlic fan, add it now.  The cooking time will tame the flavor.  If you are a fan, at it with the peppers at the end.

When the timer is down to 7 minutes and most of the pink is gone from the sausage add the onions.  At 3 minutes left, add the peppers and shake in the basil.

Finally, when the pasta is done, drain it (no need to rinse) and stir it into the sausage mix and there you have:

Footnote:  I was antsy for some summer foods and this one does it for me.  HOWEVER, it is BEST with fresh basil.  So plant it now for summer meals.  Also, the peppers are best in July and August.  So you’ve got time to get those in the ground as well.
I’ve also made this w/ whole grain pasta and the dish can handle the extra “chewiness” as long as the other ingredients are really fresh.
ALSO if you prefer a vegetarian version, this can totally be made w/ a hearty mushroom like a portobella.  You’ll need to start your skillet w/ a splash of olive oil and be sure not to crowd your mushrooms…you cuold also start them a couple of minutes later since they need less cooking time.
8 Responses to Mail it in Monday: an easy dinner!
  1. MommaKiss
    March 22, 2010 | 10:30 am

    you're speaking gibberish to me…plant your basil now? get those peppers in the ground???

    black thumb here.

    but that looks DELISH!

  2. Lifebeginsat30ty
    March 22, 2010 | 10:41 am

    Looks yummy! I have a similiar recipe, but I just use zuccini :)

    Ooh, have you ever made a peanut thai bake with salmon? That's my other 30 min meal!

  3. Frugal Vicki
    March 22, 2010 | 1:36 pm

    Mmmm, I love this recipe (well, the one I have that is similar at least). I wish I had a yard so I could plant red peppers, I refuse to pay for them, the other day it was $3 for one freaking pepper!

  4. Blissed-Out Grandma
    March 22, 2010 | 7:23 pm

    Looks like a dish we'd enjoy; we'll have to try it. Here in Minnesota I can't plant basil for a while yet, but we love it.

  5. Vic
    March 23, 2010 | 1:22 pm

    I haven't had pasta in a while…..this is making me want some now:)

  6. Little T
    March 24, 2010 | 12:09 pm

    I love making up recipes. My father used to cook from the hip and that's all I do now. Thankfully they all turn out great. Your sausage pepper pasta is one I will have to add to the pile :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog(s) and entering the scarf giveaway.

  7. my favorite and my best
    March 24, 2010 | 12:41 pm

    hey! the recipe from yesterday's post wasn't mine. but i have made them and they are amazeballs.
    from here:

  8. The Pink Blogger
    March 26, 2010 | 11:42 am

    ooh this looks really yummy! I might have to try this tonight!

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