spicy sausage and pepper baked penne
Spicy sausage and delicious vegetables, topped with cheese and baked to perfection!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups water
- 16 ounces frozen, sliced bell peppers (any color)
- 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach
- 2 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 lb brown rice penne
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup panko style breadcrumbs
- Heat olive oil in a shallow dutch oven or large oven proof sautee pan over medium heat. Remove sausage from casings and cook the meat in the pan, using a wooden spoon to break it down into small pieces.
- Increase the heat to high and cook the sausage, stirring frequently, until no longer pink and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup water to the pan and use the wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until the water evaporates.
- Grate the garlic cloves into the pan with the sausage and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the paste turns dark red.
- Add the water, frozen bell peppers, frozen spinach, salt, oregano, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- When the liquid is boiling, add the pasta and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed all the liquid, about 10 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, preheat the broiler.
- Once the pasta is almost fully cooked, stir in the grated parmesan, basil, and peas.
- Cover the top of the pasta with shredded mozzarella and top with a layer of panko bread crumbs.
- Place the dish under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts and is golden and bubbling.
- Let the pasta cool slightly at room temperature for 10-20 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers in a separate, wrapped dish in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.