Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Italian Sausage and Pepper pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce (in a Vitamix)


After clean eating all week, we indulged this past Saturday.  My weakness is pasta and bread.  My husband and I are not Italian but based on our favorite meals, you would think we were! 

I've been using our Vitamix quite a lot lately. It really is a fantastic machine.  With it, you can prepare the perfect smoothies, sauces, dips, nut butters and much more.  Plus the company is headquartered in Cleveland and you know how much I love our local businesses!  

This was such a simple dish to put together.  The sauce is equally fresh and indulgent at the same time.  It made great leftovers that were gone the next day.  

I cooked the sausage in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes and came out great.  

Very easy to slice.

Looks like Christmas... or the Italian flag!

Don't overcook these.  When added to the pasta, you want to preserve the color and crisp.  

No one likes mushy veggies.  

It doesn't matter what type of tomatoes you use for this.  My cherry tomatoes were on their last breath.  Fresh herbs from our garden.  

Everything goes int he blender.  How easy is that?

Time to blend!

I almost forgot the cheese.  This is a great time to use up the almost exhausted rinds that are sitting in your fridge.  

It starts to turn a bright orange color after a bit.  Gorgeous darling. 

You don't have to use fresh pasta but in my opinion, it is better.  If you are going to take the time to make a fresh meal, why not make it special?

Time for all the players to get happy in the pan.  

Now they are really happy...


Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce (in a Vitamix)
1 pound Italian sausage in casing
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups tomatoes (whatever kind you have on hand)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
2/3 cup whipping cream
10 fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves removed)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (leaves removed)
1/4 cup cubed parmigiano reggiano (plus more for garnish)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 pounds fresh pasta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the sausage on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Slice into discs and set aside .  

Slice peppers into strips.  Preheat large pan over medium heat. Drizzle in olive oil and add peppers.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5-7 minutes until soft.  Remove from pan and set aside into bowl to cool.  

Place tomatoes, onion, garlic, cream, basil, thyme, rosemary, parmigiano, salt and pepper in a high powered blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec).  Gradually turn to high speed and run for about 10 minutes.  The sauce is ready when it is hot and steam is coming out of the blender. Taste when finished and add seasonings to taste.   If garlic and onion flavor is too strong, blend for 2-4 minutes longer.  

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of each olive oil and salt.  In a large, deep saute pan over medium heat, add the sausage, peppers and sauce.  

Add the fresh pasta to the boiling water and cook according to instructions.  Using a slotted spoon, add pasta directly to sauce.  Place 2-3 ladles of the pasta water into the pasta and stir to combine everything.   Garnish with fresh basil and parmigiano reggiano.   

Note:  If you do not have a high powered blender, you can easily make this with a saute pan and regular or immersion blender.  Preheat a pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add chopped onion and garlic and saute until translucent.  Add chopped tomatoes, herbs, salt, pepper and cream.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.   

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