Fettuccini W/Sausage & Bell Peppers

Fettuccini W/Sausage & PeppersAs I look at this picture above, I can’t help but smile.

Yes, it is a pile of saucy pasta with spicy sausage and fresh, sweet bell peppers (read: plate full of goodness) but that isn’t the reason for the grin stretching across my face.  Ok.  Fine.  It is a part of the reason.  But mainly it is because it reminds me of happy nights in high school.

I was a diver and a synchronized swimmer in my younger years and as any good swimmer will tell you, carbo feeds the night before big meets were part of the season.  When my parents would host, this pasta is what my Dad served.  Essentially it is a plain marinara loaded with italian sausage and tons of sweet bell peppers.  For some reason, he always served it over fettuccini instead of spaghetti.  As you may have heard me mention before, I am my Father’s daughter, ergo, I serve this over fettuccini as well.  I swear it tastes better that way, but having never eaten it with any other kind of pasta, I am only speculating.  However, my Dad knew his stuff, since the wide pasta stands up much better to big chunks of sausage and bite sized pieces of vegetables than a smaller pasta would.  Its hearty, but not altogether unhealthy, and the bell peppers add a good dose of nutrients but also just look awesome.

Originally, this dish was always made with green and red bell peppers, but I like to use yellow or orange peppers instead of green because the flavor is better.  But if you do use red and green, this is certainly the month to serve it!  You can easily whip this up on a weeknight but it is special enough to put in front of company.  And definitely special enough to put in front of a group of teenage girls who have more swim suits than shoes and smell like chlorine.
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Fettuccini W/Sausage & Bell Peppers
Adding sautéed mushrooms to this is a wonderful idea.

two large sweet bell peppers, cored and sliced
1 lb sweet or spicy italian sausage links
2 quart jars of marinara, store-bought or homemade-I like this recipe
1 lb dried fettuccini, cooked according to package directions

Brown the sausage links in a large pan until seared on all sides.  They don’t have to be cooked all the way through, as they will finish cooking in the sauce.  Slice 1/2 inch thick on the bias and add to a large sauce pan.  Add the bell peppers and marinara sauce and heat over medium low heat until just starting to bubble.  Continue to cook until good and hot and the sausage is fully cooked.  You want everything to be heated, but you want to barely cook the peppers so they are still firm and sweet when you serve it!  Pour over fettuccini and serve with a green salad and a big hunk of bread!  Leftover sauce freezes great.