This Italian Sausage and Peppers with Rigatoni dish is a perfect savory dish that has everything you need to start your year off to a healthy yet satisfying start.
At the beginning of every year, I typically detox my body by staying away from refined sugars, fattening foods, and dairy. I basically go on a Paleo diet. After indulging in countless Christmas Cookies, savory holiday dishes, and lots and lots of Hot Chocolate, I need to do my body a favor and get back into shape. Although I know my body loves these healthy changes deep inside, it is always so hard when your mouth has developed a satisfying taste to the unhealthy foods that you have fed it for the past few months.
My decline in eating as healthy as I should begin when there is an incline in holiday events. For me, those holiday events begin October 1st. There are Halloween parties, Pumpkin Patches, company potlucks, and all types of stuff that were the pounds kind of sneaks up on you. As a food blogger, you are constantly being asked to promote different products for the holidays as well so you eating more stuff in that regard too. So my body needs a bit of a break from all the saturated fat and sugar it as digested. So I am going sugar-free (ish) for the month of January.
About this Italian Sausage and Peppers with Rigatoni dish
I made this dish using Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage. If it were an option, I would’ve used Hot Italian Turkey Sausage just because I think the spice from the sausage would’ve been nice in this dish. I used sliced onions and peppers that I found in a 12-ounce bag in the freezer section ( I hate chopping) and marinara sauce. Yeah, I know the marinara sauce isn’t “sugar-free” but lighten up people it’s the marinara sauce. If it makes you feel better, I am sure there is some sort of sugar -free marinara sauce out there if you are that concerned.
In addition to the turkey sausage, onions and peppers, and marinara sauce, for added protein and nutrients I added a can of Cannellini beans. I know that may seem weird for some, but if you are a foodie like me you know that adding beans to a pasta dish isn’t all that unusual. In fact, aside from the added health benefits, it adds a hearty flavor to your dish.
At the time of making this recipe, I made it with Rigatoni pasta because I realize that not everyone can afford or have access to other pasta alternatives. But I did use Banza pasta, which is a pasta made out of chickpeas and is awesome! Get creative with this dish and make it yours.
- 1 lb. Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage Links
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- 12 oz. Sliced Onions and Peppers (can be found in the frozen section), thawed
- 2 tsp. Minced garlic
- 1 lb. Marinara Sauce
- 15 oz. Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp. Onion powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- 1 lb. Rigatoni, cooked and drained
- Shaved Parmesan, garnish
- Chopped Basil, garnish
- In a large cooking pot, fill halfway with water and add about a tablespoon of salt. Turn on medium-high heat. Once the water begins to steam add the pasta and stir so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Once cooked, reserve about one cup of the pasta water, and drain. Return the pasta back to the pot and add the water. Cover so the pasta doesn’t dry out.
- In a medium saute pan, on medium heat, add the olive oil and cook the sausages for 5-6 minutes on both sides, or until cooked through. Set aside. Remove from the skillet. In the same skillet add the sliced onions and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes so the veggies can soften; add the minced garlic, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add the marinara sauce and stir. Now add the beans, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the sausage and add to the sauce. Stir to incorporate in the sauce and serve over cooked pasta and topped off with parmesan cheese and basil.