YUMMMM! I actually used breakfast sausage instead of Italian sausage. This recipe was conjured (lol… what is this Harry Potter?) because 1) I didn’t have Italian sausage on hand 2) I wanted sausage and pepper, BUT I didn’t want my usual Italian sausage and peppers pasta recipe. (Where I grill the sausage and cut it up; sautee with peppers, garlic and onions; toss with pasta and olive oil.) I transformed a breakfast sausage into Italian sausage and made it a saucy ragu. It turned out fantastic! The hubs was a huge fan! Love it when I please my man. Remember what they say “A way to a man’s heart is through is stomach.” 🙂
ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS RAGU
1 package of breakfast sausage (preferably the country style sausage, so it won’t compete with the flavors we add below)
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon red flakes (more if you like it spicier)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 medium onion, sliced or chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced or chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced or chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
Mix the sausage ingredients together until well incorporate. Take a frying pan and a small piece of the mixture to cook. Taste to ensure that the flavors are there. If needed, add more ingredients as necessary to ensure that Italian sausage taste. NOTE: DO NOT COOK ALL THE SAUSAGE. You are performing a taste test.
On medium-high heat, heat your sauce pan and olive oil. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic to the pot. When fragrant (about 30 seconds), add bell peppers. Sautee for 5 minutes. Then add the crushed tomatoes. When vegetables are coated, add sausage mixture. Ensure that the sausage is coated with the crushed tomatoes as well. (Note: If you want more depth to this recipe you can add a splash of red or white wine at this point.) Lower the heat to a medium low and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes or until meat is cooked and to incorporate the flavors.
Cook your favorite pasta (spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, etc.) and top with ragu. Add parmesan cheese if desired. Open a bottle of wine and enjoy!