Fresh peppers and sausage cooked in red sauce just might be one of the homiest dishes known to man (or woman). But then, so is Penne Alla Norma; chock full of fried eggplant, basil and ricotta cheese. Pair these two up and you have a dinner sent from Italian heaven.
Sausage Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers with Penne Alla Norma
Start to finish: 25 minutes
Hands on time: 15 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two sausage stuffed cubanelle peppers from the specialty meat case
8 oz Heinen’s Classic Red Sauce from the cold case
1 package Heinen’s Penne Alla Norma from the freezer case
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Salt and pepper the peppers and carefully add them to the hot pan when the oil shimmers. Brown the peppers on one side for about 2 minutes and turn them over to brown the other side.. Don’t worry if the stuffing comes out. Brown them another 2 minutes, then using tongs transfer them to a plate. Pour off the oil in the pan (I pour it into wadded up paper towels in the sink, then once cool throw them in the trash) and return the peppers and sausage along with the red sauce. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the sausage is cooked through.
About 5 minutes before the peppers are done, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the whole package of frozen penne pasta. Cook according to the package directions.
Serve the peppers and sausage alongside the penne on heated plates or mix it all together like I do. Top with a little grated cheese. Eat it fast before it gets cold.
Tip: When serving pasta it really does make a difference to heap it on heated plates. That way it stays hot until the last bite is bitten. Just heat microwave-safe dishes in the microwave oven for one minute. Check to see if they are warm enough and if not, give it another 30 seconds. Be careful when removing the plates from the oven as they may be hotter than you think.
In the glass: How about a nice Chianti. Try the Ruffino and if you’re in for a splurge the Ruffino Riserva Ducale.
Download Recipe PDF | Recipe courtesy of Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sinkful of dishes. Look for Carla on Facebook, Twitter (carlacooks), Pinterest and at ravenouskitchen.com where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.