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This Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta recipe is about to be your new fave! Spicy Italian sausage & sweet bell peppers simmer away in a simple, but richly flavored, tomato sauce made of crushed tomatoes & white wine. It’s simple, flavorful, satisfying, & quick – all of the BEST things!
A 30-minute pasta dinner that leans on 10 simple ingredients, that all just so happen to also be powerhouses of flavor, to create a comforting, hearty & downright dreeeamy weeknight dinner situation.
Simple: This is a 10-ingredient recipe, leaning heavily on a handful of things you probably already have in your pantry to build a quick & simple, but mega flavorful, homemade tomato sauce. Flavorful: You’ll brown up the sausage & cook all the aromatics right in the same skillet you use to make the sauce. It’s the secret to building lots of rich flavor in very little time. Satisfying: Spicy sausage, sweet bell peppers, a bold & rich tomato sauce, perfectly al dente pasta, & mayyybe a heavy sprinkle (or seven) or parm? Heck. YES. & best of all…Quick: Dinner’s on the table in 30 minutes or less. Hello, weeknight dream! Italian Sausage & peppers pasta served in a white bowl sitting on a striped linen napkin atop a white marble surface surrounded by fresh parsley leaves, & a small wooden bowl filled with crushed red pepper flakes. Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta Ingredients: The ingredients in this recipe are very minimal, & they’re likely already sitting in your pantry, patiently awaiting their spicy Italian sausage pasta destiny.
Italian sausage and peppers pasta recipe ingredients (spicy sausage, dried rigatoni, white wine, diced bell peppers, parmesan cheese, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, diced onion, garlic & crushed chili flake) arranged on a white marble surface.
of making sausage peppers pasta: Browning sausage, bell peppers & onions in large skillet. Making sausage peppers pasta: browned sausage, bell peppers & onions in large skillet. of making Italian sausage and peppers pasta: browned sausage & peppers in large skillet with aromatics like white wine & tomato paste Of making Italian sausage and peppers pasta: Adding crushed tomatoes & parmesan cheese to browned sausage & peppers in large skillet. Italian Sausage and peppers pasta sauce in large black skillet. Adding rigatoni pasta to Italian Sausage and peppers pasta sauce in large black skillet. Here’s how you do it! (Note: Full Recipe Directions are detailed in the Recipe Card, below.)
Boil the pasta. Always be sure to boil your pasta in heavily salted water. This is the only chance to season the pasta itself, so this is important. The pasta water should taste like the ocean! Brown the sausage & veggies. First, brown the sausage with the peppers, onions & garlic. T Make the tomato sauce. Once the sausage is browned & the veggies are super fragrant, add in some rich tomato paste, deglaze with white wine, & finish it off with crushed tomatoes and parmesan. Flavor, flavor, flavor! Finish the pasta. Once the sausage and peppers sauce has bubbled & simmered, it’s time to add the pasta into the equation. Serve! The best part. Top your Italian sausage and peppers pasta with extra grated parmesan, crushed red pepper, & a sprinkling of thinly sliced basil, or whatever else your pasta-lovin’ heart desires. Italian sausage & peppers pasta in a large Staub skillet, topped with fresh parsley. The skillet is sitting on a white marble surface. Meal prep this sausage peppers pasta in just 5 minutes!
If you have a few minutes to spare in the kitchen at the beginning of the week, go ahead & chop up the onion & bell pepper. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Seriously couldn’t be easier.
Sausage and peppers pasta recipe variations: The beauty of this recipe is that it’s a) super easy & b) super versatile. A couple of easy tweaks or swaps here & there & you can totally customize it to your tastes. I have couple of ideas off the top of my head listed below, but definitely get creative & have fun with it!
Not a fan of spicy? Swap out spicy sausage with sweet Italian sausage & omit chili flake. Make it creamy: Pour some heavy cream into the tomato sauce as it simmers to give the pasta a gorgeous velvety texture. Using chicken or turkey sausage: Not my favorite option! The goal with this recipe is to build lots of rich flavor in a short amount of time, & the fat content of traditional pork Italian sausage is crucial. If you want to swap it out with chicken or turkey Italian sausage, be sure to add more olive oil to account for the extra fat in the pork sausage. Want to make it vegetarian? Swap out the sausage with tons of finely chopped mushrooms. Again, you’ll want to add in some extra olive oil & seasonings (your go-to Italian herb blend is great) to account for the fat & flavor in the sausage. Totally satisfying & hearty option!
My favorite addition would be some wilted greens (spinach, arugula), shredded kale, broccoli florets, or mushrooms. Check out the Recipe Notes, below, for some tips & tricks! Italian Sausage & peppers pasta served in a white bowl sitting on a white marble surface surrounded by a striped linen napkin & fresh parsley leaves.
Spicy Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta Recipe
8 ounces rigatoni (or short pasta of choice) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound bulk spicy Italian sausage (see Recipe Notes) 1/2 bell pepper (yellow, orange or red), diced 1 yellow onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake 1/4 cup tomato paste 1/2 cup white wine (can sub chicken broth or vegetable broth) 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup grated parmesan Kosher salt for serving, as desired: grated parmesan, crushed red pepper flakes, thinly sliced fresh basil, etc. INSTRUCTIONS Boil the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni, or pasta of choice, and cook to al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water, then drain the pasta & set aside.
Brown the sausage & sauté the pepper & onion: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the sausage, bell pepper & onion, seasoning with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Use a wooden spoon to break the sausage into fine bite-sized crumbles as it cooks. The sausage should render & brown nicely & the peppers & onions should soften. If anything starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low. Add in the garlic & crushed red pepper flake, cooking until just fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Build the tomato sauce: Stir the tomato paste into the skillet. As it heats, stir to coat the sausage & veggies. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until deeply red, then deglaze the skillet with the white wine. Increase the heat to medium-high. Once the wine simmers, add in the crused tomatoes & parmesan. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes to thicken slightly & build flavor. Finish the pasta: Once the sausage & peppers have simmered in the sauce, add the pasta to the skillet. Toss to coat, adding some of the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen up the sauce so it coats the pasta nicely. Let the pasta simmer in the sauce for 1-2 minutes, just to bring everything together, then remove from the heat. Serve immediately, topped with extra grated parm, crushed red pepper & a sprinkling of thinly sliced basil, as desired. Enjoy! NOTES Not a fan of spicy? No worries! Simply swap out spicy sausage with sweet Italian sausage & omit chili flake, & the pasta will be nice & mild.
Make it vegetarian: Simply swap out the sausage with tons of finely chopped mushrooms. You’ll want to add in some extra olive oil & seasonings (your go-to Italian herb blend is great) to account for the fat & flavor in the sausage. Totally satisfying & hearty option! 5-Minute Meal Prep: At the beginning of the week, or whenever you have an extra couple of minutes in the kitchen, chop up the onion & bell pepper & store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. At dinnertime, all you have to do is light the stove & toss them in the skillet with the sausage – easy peasy!