Top | Main Dishes

Sausage, Red Pepper, and Tomato Pasta

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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You could make this pasta any time of the year with canned or out-of-season substitutions, but it is especially good in early fall when tomatoes, peppers, and basil are still forthcoming from the garden — and the chilly evenings are right for a hearty pasta. This is the kind of sauce that comes together in the time it takes to bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta. Some may quibble about the skins of the tomatoes and peppers in the sauce, but they don't bother me one bit.


  1. ¾ lb. dried pasta (such as rotelle, orechiette, or penne — essentially, any pasta that catches bits of sausage and tomato in its crannies or crevices)
  2. 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  3. 1 large or 2 small sweet red peppers, seeds and membranes removed, chopped (about 1 cup)
  4. Extra-virgin olive oil
  5. ¾ lb. hot or mild Italian sausage (your preference), bulk or removed from the casings
  6. 4 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (cherry, Romas, or whatever variety is growing in your garden)
  7. ½ cup cream
  8. ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  9. Salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook the onion and peppers over medium heat in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes, add the sausage. Continue to cook, breaking up the sausage with the end of a spoon, until the meat is cooked through. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  3. Right before serving, add the cream and basil to the sauce, and stir until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the sauce with the cooked, drained pasta.