Sausage and Roasted Veggie Pasta

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but I used to think that sausage only had three primary uses: a pizza topping, a component to Thanksgiving stuffing, and a side for pancakes and eggs. I had never imagined being creative with this flavorful pork by using it as a cheap protein for quick weeknight cooking. The idea of this recipe came to me one night when I really wanted to use up odds-and-ends in my fridge. I was getting ready to make a big trip to the farmers market and needed to make a move. I had some miscellaneous veggies, leftover pasta, and leftover sausage from pizza night. I roasted up the veggies and threw them all together. Jason loved very bite. A few weeks ago I made it again , but this time with freshly browned sausage. It was even more incredible. The fattiness and spice from the sausage combined with the juices of the roasted veggies to create a sauce that was nothing like I had ever tasted. Simply said, there were no leftovers. If you are a fan of sausage on your pizza, try this recipe. You will fall in love.

Ingredients:Sausage and Roasted Veggie Pasta

Pick 4 of your favorite veggies. I decided to go with the veggies listed below. Pick what is on sale and in season – just make sure to slice them into similar shapes.

  • vidalia onion (sliced into wedges)
  • zucchini (sliced into half-moons)
  • red bell pepper (sliced into wedges)
  • small button mushrooms ( ½ lb. steams removed)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried
  • 2 links mild Italian sausage, casings removed and into ½ in balls
  • 1 box of your favorite short cut pasta (Penne or Rotini)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400. In a medium bowl, toss your picked vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. Pull them out and flip the vegetables. In the medium prep bowl, add the tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Add them to the baking sheet and roast veggies just until the tomatoes start to burst.

Cook pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the box. Drain pasta and reserve around a cup of the starchy cooking liquid. Add cooked pasta to your medium prep bowl.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and sauté until cooked through. Turn up the heat to medium-high and deglaze with ½ cup of the starchy cooking liquid. Add your roasted veggies to the cooked pasta along with the cooked sausage including the pan juices. Toss the pasta, adding an additional ¼ to ½ cup of starchy cooking liquid. If the pasta seems dry, add more. Season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a serving platter. Enjoy!

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