Baked Pasta with Peppers, Zucchini and Sausage

By July 26, 2016

Easy, whole-foods comfort food to feed a big group! Up the veggies by adding partially steamed broccoli florets, spinach or kale.

 2-3 tbsp oil
 2-3 hot peppers (can be mild if you prefer no heat)
 1 lb bulk Italian Sausage (or other bulk ground meat, like ground beef, pork sausage or chorizo)
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp thyme
 1 zucchini or yellow squash, cut to bite-sized pieces
 1 additional bell pepper or 1 cup chopped broccoli (optional)
 1 quart (4 cups) tomato sauce
 Macaroni pasta like Fusilli (not fresh pasta, like Ohio City Linguine, which would fall apart if baked)
 1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan or other hard, salty cheese
1

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your macaroni about halfway (5-6 minutes for the dried fusilli we used.) Reserve about 1/3 cup cooking water when draining. If you're using broccoli, also steam about one cup of florets about halfway.

2

Chop lids off of hot peppers, scoop out seeds and discard. Wash your knife, and if you're using a plastic cutting board, cut them on parchment paper and throw that away so the spicy oil doesn't seep in. Chop peppers into rings, and toss with oil in your baking dish (a rectangular casserole or 10-12"oven-proof deep skillet.) Broil under high heat for 5-8 minutes, then turn oven to 375 and remove peppers. This brings out the sweetness and mellows some of the heat.

3

In a large skillet, brown your sausage in oil over medium-high heat. If using links, remove from casings first. Obviously, sausage is totally optional-- just add extra veggies or some mozzarella cheese! While browning, chop up your zucchini, and roughly chop your bell pepper (remove lid and seeds first.)

4

Once the sausage is mostly cooked, add in the salt, the thyme, and the zucchini, broccoli & bell pepper. Stir and cook to soften (about 5-7 minutes.)

5

Add the sausage and vegetables and pasta to the baking dish with broiled hot peppers. Pour the tomato sauce and reserved pasta water over top and mix well.

6

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, then scatter the parmesan over top and bake for 5 more. Serve warm!

Ingredients

 2-3 tbsp oil
 2-3 hot peppers (can be mild if you prefer no heat)
 1 lb bulk Italian Sausage (or other bulk ground meat, like ground beef, pork sausage or chorizo)
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp thyme
 1 zucchini or yellow squash, cut to bite-sized pieces
 1 additional bell pepper or 1 cup chopped broccoli (optional)
 1 quart (4 cups) tomato sauce
 Macaroni pasta like Fusilli (not fresh pasta, like Ohio City Linguine, which would fall apart if baked)
 1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan or other hard, salty cheese

Directions

1

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your macaroni about halfway (5-6 minutes for the dried fusilli we used.) Reserve about 1/3 cup cooking water when draining. If you're using broccoli, also steam about one cup of florets about halfway.

2

Chop lids off of hot peppers, scoop out seeds and discard. Wash your knife, and if you're using a plastic cutting board, cut them on parchment paper and throw that away so the spicy oil doesn't seep in. Chop peppers into rings, and toss with oil in your baking dish (a rectangular casserole or 10-12"oven-proof deep skillet.) Broil under high heat for 5-8 minutes, then turn oven to 375 and remove peppers. This brings out the sweetness and mellows some of the heat.

3

In a large skillet, brown your sausage in oil over medium-high heat. If using links, remove from casings first. Obviously, sausage is totally optional-- just add extra veggies or some mozzarella cheese! While browning, chop up your zucchini, and roughly chop your bell pepper (remove lid and seeds first.)

4

Once the sausage is mostly cooked, add in the salt, the thyme, and the zucchini, broccoli & bell pepper. Stir and cook to soften (about 5-7 minutes.)

5

Add the sausage and vegetables and pasta to the baking dish with broiled hot peppers. Pour the tomato sauce and reserved pasta water over top and mix well.

6

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, then scatter the parmesan over top and bake for 5 more. Serve warm!

Baked Pasta with Peppers, Zucchini and Sausage

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