This Sweet Pepper and Sausage Pasta is simple and hearty with Italian sausage, jammy bell peppers and caramelized onions. Dairy free and ready in 30 minutes.
What you’ll need to make Sweet Pepper & Sausage Pasta
Italian sausage: I like to use a mild Italian pork sausage but feel free to use the spicy kind if you like a little extra heat. Chicken or turkey sausage can also work, but you may need to add a bit more olive oil when caramelizing the peppers and onions to make up for the lighter fat content.
Bell peppers: One red and one yellow makes for the prettiest sauce!
Onion & garlic
Pasta: Any short-cut pasta works here. A few of my recommendations are rigatoni (pictured), penne, fusilli and cavatelli. Gnocchi would also make for a slightly different, but delicious dish!
Brown sugar: A little brown sugar helps the peppers and onions caramelize white bringing out their sweetness.
Olive oil: Using a high quality extra-virgin olive oil really goes a long way for this recipe.
Oregano: I always use dried oregano but fresh would be even better!
How to make Pepper & Sausage Pasta
Cook the sausage: This pepper and sausage pasta recipe begins with browning the Italian sausage. I suggest you use a heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven for the best caramelization.
Take the sausage out of the casings and cook over medium-high heat until just cooked through. Stir in a spoonful of tomato paste and keep cooking until everything is nicely browned and caramelized. Toasting the tomato paste with the sausage is going to add an extra layer of flavor.
Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
Caramelize the peppers & onions: Add all your chopped veggies to the pan and let those cook down and caramelize. This process should take about 15-20 minutes. If you notice the peppers are taking too long to soften or they start looking a little dry, add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and crank the heat up to a simmer. Continue this process until the peppers and onions are soft and jammy.
Once the peppers are nearly done, put some finishing touches on the sauce. Add the brown sugar, garlic, oregano and balsamic vinegar and cook everything for another few minutes to let all those flavors meld.
Cook the pasta: Meanwhile, cook your pasta of choice in salted water—think salty like the sea! The pasta will continue to cook in the sauce so drain it an out 1-2 minutes before the suggested time of the package. Don;t forget to reserve some of that starchy pasta water!
Put everything together: Add the pasta and sausage to the pot with the cooked peppers. Gently heat over a low flame, adding splashes of pasta water every so often, until the sauce is silky and coats the pasta.
Storage + serving tips
My favorite way to serve this Sweet Pepper and Sausage Pasta is over a bed of fresh arugula with a generous sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs. To toast your own breadcrumbs, heat a touch of olive oil in a pan, add your breadcrumbs (I use Panko) and toast, tossing frequently until golden brown.
This pasta recipe is best enjoyed fresh but it will keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days when sealed in an airtight container. You can also store the pepper/sausage mixture separately and make the pasta fresh whenever you feel like eating it.
More pasta recipes to try
Made this recipe? I would love to hear what you think in the review section down below! Also, make sure to tag @wandering_chickpeaon Instagram with your creations and follow along on Pinterest for more delicious recipes!