Red Pepper & Sausage Pasta Bake
Taps mic…Testing, Testing…Oh hey, this still works! After a much needed three month hiatus I finally found the time and willpower to sit down and write a blog post. I’ve still be cooking plenty the past three months, although my bread baking still hasn’t recovered to pre-Maple levels. That partially had to do with the time she required, but also the fact that we had what I’d call a real summer for the first time in several years. My hope is that with the cooler fall weather I’ll be able to make some progress on my bread to-bake list.
The photos from this red pepper and sausage pasta bake have been staring at me on my desktop for months, daring me to post them. It is such a simple recipe and one I love so much that I was surprised I hadn’t already shared it. The above picture gives a window into an unexpected challenge and great training opportunity we had with Maple. Taking food pictures with her nearby has gotten easier the past few weeks and she is very good with the ‘leave it’ command.
Maple’s growth finally slowed down towards the end of the summer and she I think will settle in around 65-70 pounds. She’s learned lots of fun tricks, made puppy friends, gotten very good at fetch, and even floated down part of the Huron River with me in an inner tube.
Anyways, back to the business at hand. This dish pretty much sells itself, no? Cheese, pasta, basil, peppers, sausage…it’s some minor miracle that I also didn’t add onions (I must have been out, otherwise I certainly would have). It’s great to throw together for an easy weeknight dinner and I think is just as great cold as it is hot.
I hope to get back on track to a more regular posting scheduled and start back up with Photoshop Phridays. In the meantime, you can made this pasta bake and look at this picture of Maple proudly wearing a t-shirt I retired after 8 years of dutiful service.
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 15 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3 large red bell peppers, sliced
- Freshly torn basil, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan on the stove cook sausage until done, making sure that it is in smaller crumbles. Drain fat and set the sausage aside.
- While the water comes to a boil add the olive oil, pesto, dried oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
- To the baking dish add the pasta, sun-dried tomatoes and sausage. Toss well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Add ¾ of the mozzarella cheese and then scatter the sliced red peppers over top. The peppers should be packed closely together, and will cook down in the oven. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella and evenly place the pepperonis on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until the top is browned and the peppers have softened. Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil.