Italian Sausage & Bell Pepper Casserole

So I’m sure you are wondering why I eat so much pasta. And I will give you some answers. Because I wouldn’t want you to lose sleep or anything. 1. I love me some pasta. Anyone who knows me well, knows that Giada De Laurentiis is kind of my idol and there is a little..ok large part of me that wishes I was one of her cousins so I could feast on her Italian cuisine, visit her summer home in Capri, and play with her 3-year-old who has a more sophisticated palate then most people I know. 2. I’m a runner and like to use that as an excuse for my extreme carbo-loading. and 3. My wonderful mother bought me a large variety pack of pasta from Costco for my last semester of college. So because of these reasons listed above, I do cook a lot of pasta dishes. And a few weeks ago I decided making a casserole to share with my roommates & boyfriend would be a great use for some of that enormous package of campanelle pasta that had been hanging out in our pantry for a while. This serves 5 to 6 people and keeps really well for a a few days in the fridge, so you can either have a fiesta or have it for dinner a few nights in a row. Your choice, but if Giada and her baby are invited to your party, pleaaaaaase invite me too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 italian sausage, casing removed, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 cups campanelle pasta
  • 1 red & 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cup plain marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Brown the pieces of italian sausage in a large saucepan over medium high heat until cooked through. Remove from pan & drain grease. Set sausage aside.
  2. Add bell peppers, olive oil, garlic salt & italian seasoning to pan and cook over medium heat until peppers are tender.
  3. Mix cooked pasta, italian sausage, peppers & marinara in a large bowl.
  4. Mix in 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese & breadcrumbs until well incorporated & cheese is slightly melted.
  5. Move pasta mixture to a medium sized casserole dish and cover with remaining mozzarella & grated parmesan and wrap dish in tin foil
  6. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes covered. Uncover & bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

-C

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