Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sausage and Bell Pepper Baked Pasta

With hints of fall already around—yes, a few leaves are beginning to turn just the slightest bit around the edges—I have begun to  crave somewhat a little heartier fare. You know the type. My Sausage and Bell Pepper Baked Pasta (recipe follows) tends to have that stick-to-your-bones flavor while still taking advantage of the tail end of summer’s bounty, bell peppers and fresh grown herbs. Be creative, using a variety of pepper colors.
I have found that this one keeps over a couple of days very well, reheating perfectly. I always add a couple of tablespoons of extra cheese prior to reheating. This recipe also lends itself to being baked in individual ramekins, elevating an ordinary dish to the level of exotic.

 Here is my recipe:
8 ounces corn pasta, gluten free
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons garlic clove, minced
1 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
12 ounces Italian sausage (bulk)
1 large sweet bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese finely grated

Here is how I put this recipe together:
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat 9 by 13-inch baking dish with gluten free non-stick cooking spray.

2. Bring large pot of water to boil over medium heat. Add pasta of choice; cook until less than al dente or about half the time. Drain and set aside.

3. While pasta is cooking, place olive oil in large skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for about 3 minutes or until slightly tender. Add tomatoes, Italian seasonings and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Place bulk Italian sausage in medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté until almost done or the gray stage .Add bell pepper and continue to cook until pepper is tender.

5. Place cooked pasta in prepared baking dish. Pour tomato sauce mixture over pasta. Top with cheese.

6. Bake until cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

7. To serve, divide among 8 plates. add a side salad with desired dressing for a complete meal.

Servings: 8

Oven Temperature: 375°F

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Nutrition (per serving): 483 calories, 79 calories from fat, 9 g total fat, 10.6 mg cholesterol, 557.6 mg sodium, 408.5 mg potassium, 86.7 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 6.7 g sugar, 14 g protein.

Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne
Copyright: 2013

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