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Super Easy Skillet Pasta with Sausage & Peppers

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  • Super Easy Skillet Pasta with Sausage & Peppers

    This is one of my family's favorite meals. It is simple to make; it doesn't take too long to cook; & is very affordable, but it is hearty & really delicious! Also, there aren't a lot of extra dishes to clean afterwards since everything is cooked in 1 skillet pan.

    Also, if you're concerned about too many carbs from the pasta, they sell protein enriched pasta now.

    1 large can (29 oz.) or 2 medium sized (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 medium onion, minced
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    Table salt
    3 medium cloves garlic, minced/pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tbs)
    1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1 (12 oz.) package of Johnsonville Italian Hot Ground Sausage (looks like hamburger & doesn’t have any casings)
    1 tablespoon dry basil
    1 (approx. 12-16 oz.) box Bow-tie Pasta
    1 (15 oz.) medium can tomato sauce
    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, (plus 2 additional tbs. sprinkled on top at the end)
    Ground black pepper
    1 cup ricotta cheese (optional topping at the end)

    1. Pour the tomatoes with their juices into 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until mixture measures 1 quart. Set aside until later.

    2. Use a large (12-inch) skillet pan with a tight-fitting lid. Heat up the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped up onion, bell pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté mixture until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Then stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat into little pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

    3. Stir in 1 tbs. of dry basil.

    4. You want to layer these next ingredients on top of each other. Do not stir up this stack right now. First, scatter box of pasta over (on top of) the sausage/pepper/onion/garlic mixture. Pour the diced tomatoes with juices over pasta. Lastly, pour tomato sauce over the tomatoes, so the pasta is all covered over with sauce.

    Put the lid on pan and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Cook for 10 minutes & then stir it up. Then cook another 10-15 minutes (stirring occasionally) until pasta is tender. (Total cook time is around 20-25 minutes or so.)

    5. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

    (If using fresh chopped basil, use 3 tbs. & stir in at this time instead of adding it in Step 3 above. If adding optional ricotta, scoop heaping tablespoon dollops on top at this time.)

    Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2 tbs. Parmesan on top to make it look pretty right before serving.
    Dig in & enjoy!

    p.s. LOL! The way I've written up these instructions, it may sound more complicated....actually it is easy to do/make. My family likes eating it cold on the next day too!

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