Penne Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

October 03, 2014

Penne pasta with sausage and peppers is a delicious, satisfying meal anytime of year. This recipe can be modified for vegetarians, and folks who eat gluten-free. It’s hardy, but won’t weigh you down. It’s also very easy to prepare. Yields about 6 servings which is great for a family or leftovers throughout the week.

 If you haven’t tried it, I recommend serving with Einkorn pasta- it’s an ancient grain that’s never hybridized making it a lower gluten alternative to modern wheat; it also has more nutrients, vitamins & minerals than regular wheat pasta.

Tip: Vegetarians can substitute Field Roast Italian Sausage. Gluten free folks can use quinoa penne.



40 minutes






6 people


1.6 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage, or vegetarian Italian sausage (brand: Field Roast)
2.1 teaspoon olive oil
3.2 large red bell peppers, sliced (or 1 red and 1 yellow)
4.1 large onion, sliced
5.2 cloves garlic, minced
6.½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
7.1, 16-ounce jar marinara sauce
8.Salt and pepper, to taste
9.1 pound dried penne or ziti
10.6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
11.1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley



Prepare Pasta.

Place a large pot on the stove. Add 4 quarts of water to pot. Bring to a boil then add a tbsp of salt. Add dry pasta and cook for 11 minutes or according to package directions. You can begin the next step as pasta cooks, but keep an eye on pasta and remove from heat when el dente. (See final step)


Prepare Sausage.

While pasta is cooking, prepare sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown sausage, breaking it into small pieces, until no longer pink about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Wipe out skillet.


Prepare Vegetables and Fennel.

Slice peppers and onion.

Crush fennel seed in mortar & pestle; slowly move the pestle in a circular motion over the seeds, pressing down to crush them. (See note below for another option, using a flat side of chef’s knife.)


Cook Vegetables, Fennel, and Garlic.

In the same skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onion, cook until softened about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute more. 


Add Marinara Sauce & Sausage.

Add marinara sauce and sausage. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Add Sausage & Pepper Mixture to Cooked Penne.

Once the penne (or ziti) has cooked to el dente, drain and place in a large warm bowl.

Add sausage and peppers sauce mixture and toss to coat pasta. Serve immediately, sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.


To crush fennel seeds you can also use the flat side of a chef's knife over the seeds, pressing down on the blade with your fingertips to crush the seeds.

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