Do you ever just get a hankerin’ for something? You imagine the flavors that you want and that image doesn’t leave your brain. For days. It keeps invading your thoughts until finally, you relent and cry, “Uncle!” That was me last week.
The result? Shangri-La!!! This dish has a little bit of everything — savory italian sausage, sweet roasted peppers, briny capers and olives, tender vegetables and pasta — the holy grail of comfort foods!!! Emily and Scott were all about this too.
The best part of this recipe is that the veg and sausage don’t need a lot of hand-holding. Just pop ’em in the oven to roast.
You could slice the peppers and add them to the veg to cook at the same time, but (and this is weird about me) I like roasted peppers to slide down my throat, unfettered. And I’m afraid that their papery skins — fetter it. So while the other veg was on the roasting pan, I cooked the whole bell peppers in the oven, just until the flesh was soft and the skins were blackened. Then they went into a bowl covered with plastic wrap to cool. I peeled off those tough skins and they were ready for action.
And let me say that while the sausage crisped and the zucchini and tomatoes caramelized, the house was filled with the most luscious aroma.
Ok, so I may have snuck a bite of sausage at this point — do you blame me?
I added briny capers and kalamata olives for a salty component. Believe me, you want this. Now!!!
- 3 cups grape tomatoes (I used red and yellow)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced vertically, then crosswise into 1/2" pieces
- 1 medium yellow squash, sliced vertically, then crosswise into 1/2" pieces
- 1 small red onion, cut into 1" chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound italian sausages, casings removed and cut into 1" chunks
- 1 pound corkscrew pasta, cooked to al dente
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, seeded and halved or quartered
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place bell peppers into oven and cook until skin is papery and blackened, about 35-45 minutes. Remove and transfer peppers to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the peppers steam in the bowl.
- On a large baking sheet combine the tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onion, garlic, basil, fennel, oregano, red pepper flakes, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Toss the vegetables until well coated with the oil, herbs and spices. Add the sausage and spread everything into an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes. (Note the vegetable/sausage mixture can roast in the oven at the same time the peppers are cooking)
- While vegetables are roasting, prepare the pasta and cook until al dente. Rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process and drain. Set aside.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins, stems and seeds and cut the peppers into thin strips. Transfer peppers to a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and sausage to the peppers. Scrape the pan to get all of the juicy goodness into the bowl. Add the olives, capers and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine.
- Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Top with the vegetables and all the juices. Sprinkle with fresh basil and parsley. Serve.