Quick and Easy Spicy Sausage, Onions and Peppers

I love easy meals, especially if those meals only use one pan.  This meal is also pretty quick and is packed full of flavor.  There is a lot of flexibility in this dish as well.  You can replace the spicy sausage with sweet Italian sausage or lower the calorie count by using chicken sausage or turkey sausage.  If it’s hot out, you can cook the sausage on the grill and add it to the sauce later!  You can also add other vegetables to the sauce.  I often use this recipe as way to clean out the fridge.  Mushrooms, zucchini or summer squash go perfectly with the flavors.  Think of this recipe as a base!

You may see “tomato paste” in the ingredients and turn up your nose, but don’t be so quick to dismiss them.  Tomato paste was just a tomato once! Sure, you could replace the paste with crushed tomatoes, cut back on the liquids and cook it down a bit longer, but the paste will help inject flavor into the dish quickly and will ensure that it isn’t too acidic and sour.  I have made this dish both ways but people always rave about the tomato paste version.  Go figure!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage links
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, julienned
  • 2 medium yellow onions, julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large bay leaf

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Directions:

In a large skillet on medium heat brown the sausages on all sides.  The sausages don’t need to be fully cooked; they will be finished in the sauce at the end.

Remove the sausages from the skillet and set aside.

Add the olive oil to the skillet.  When hot, add the onions and peppers along with the seasonings.  Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir well.

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Let this mixture cook down on med-low for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are starting to “melt” as pictured below.

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Add the garlic and let cook for one minute.

Turn heat up to medium and add the tomato paste, stirring well.  Let this cook for about two minutes.

Add the wine and beef stock and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.

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Add the sausage back into the pan.  Turn heat down to low and cover.  Let this simmer for 20 minutes.

Lift the cover and stir again.  Remove the bay leaf before serving.  This dish is tasty over pasta, rice, in subs or you can serve them on their own with a side salad.

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Give it a try and let me know what you think!  How do you cook peppers?  Do you grill them, bake them or add them to sauce?  Let us know in the comments.

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