Cade and I love good food and the older we get it’s interesting to see how our tastes are changing. Cade never was into dessert and now he’s got a huge sweet tooth. I never was all that into peppers and onions and now anything savory hits the spot for me far more than treats. Which means this Ultimate Italian Sausage Pasta is one of our favorites, followed by a skookie for Cade. Ridiculous…
This pasta was entirely inspired by pizza. If it’s good as a pizza, it’s meant to be pasta and vice versa in our book. Cade could eat pizza every day of his life and be quite happy, and pasta is quickly taking hold on his heart as well. So if you think this is good we highly encourage you to bust out our Little Italy Pizza recipe too. Like, this weekend, for sure.
First thing first, cook those peppers and onions down. In a perfect world I would caramelize the onions first, then the peppers, but I’m all kinds of lazy and while I generally start the onions alone I almost always end up throwing in the peppers too. Really, I don’t know why it matters but the onions never caramelize as well when I do that, but all you need to worry about is LOW AND SLOW. In fact, I cook them off in the morning so that I don’t get antsy and turn up the heat.
Then you’ll set those aside and cook the meat and pasta separately. Add everything back into a large skillet, toss everything with a little marinara and pepperoni, and stir to coat. Next is my favorite part…
Top the entire pot of deliciousness with fresh mozzarella and stick it under the broiler to get all melty. Pull it out and toss on juicy, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil then gobble it all up until you have to unbutton your jeans you’re so full. Or be like me and bust out the lounge pants because those will for sure allow stretching. 🙂
Doesn’t that just look bomb.com? Yeah, buddy!
Is Italian Sausage Spicy?
The most common varieties of Italian Sausage are hot, sweet, and mild.
The main difference between hot and mild is the addition of hot red pepper flakes in the spice mix.
Is Pork Sausage and Italian Sausage the Same?
In North America, Italian sausage most often refers to a style of pork sausage.
They are actually the same thing, the seasonings are a little different.
Italian Sausage comes in a sweet (the same thing as mild) Italian variety, which is primarily flavored with fennel and garlic.
Hot Italian sausage contains the same spices, but with a shake or two of chile pepper.
Can Pasta Be Cooked in a Crock Pot?
Pasta can quickly turn into a mushy mess in the slow cooker.
To cook pasta in a slow cooker, you should add pasta and 1 cup hot water, (maybe more depending on how much liquid is already in the crock pot) and cook for 30 minutes on high.
The Ultimate Italian Sausage Pasta
- 1 Package Rigatoni Pasta
- 1/2 Pound Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Small Yellow Onion, sliced in half and sliced again into thin pieces
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, sliced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
- 1 Cup Marinara Sauce
- 1 Cup Pepperoni, chopped
- 1 1/2 Cups Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
- 1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, oil packed and drained
- 1-2 Tablespoons Chopped Basil, fresh
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the sausage and break up while cooking, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove to a plate.
- Turn the heat to medium, add the olive oil and butter and then add the onions and peppers.
- Turn down to low and cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender and golden in color.
- Remove to a plate and turn off the burner.
- In a large pot with salted water over medium high heat, cook the pasta until al dente.
- Once cooked, turn the large skillet back on to medium heat and add the meat, peppers, onions, pepperoni and pasta in.
- Pour in the sauce and mix to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Heat the oven to broil.
- Top the skillet with cheese and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and browning slightly in spots.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and top with sun-dried tomatoes and basil.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 447 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 59.1mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 33.1g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 5.5g Protein: 21.4g