This is one of many ridiculously easy pasta recipes I have up my sleeve (and the first to be officially documented). I’ve shared it with countless friends and family members who have all given me positive feedback regarding the ease and the taste of this flavorful, healthy, kid-approved pasta recipe. I hope it will become a favorite weeknight dinner for your family, too!
Some quick tips before you get started:
- You can cook the pasta and prepare the sausage/pepper sauce at the same time.
- Don’t drain the pasta! Scoop it out of the boiling water with a large slotted spoon and put it directly in the sauce.
- I use light cream cheese AND light sour cream (not fat free!).
- The red sauce/marinara I use is something I usually have left over in the fridge. It can vary from several tablespoons to a 1/4 cup of sauce from the jar. Nothing special, it just adds some tang to the cream sauce. If you’re starting with a new jar, use the rest as pizza sauce or dipping sauce for calzones!
- Serve the sausage on the side if you have vegetarians coming over for dinner and everyone will be a happy camper.
Super Easy Southwest Ziti
A great, easy weeknight family meal idea! If you love pasta and spices, you'll love this Southwestern dish with it's sausage, peppers, and creamy tomato sauce.
This dish makes enough to share with friends or to enjoy as leftovers the next day.
- 1 box of Ziti or Penne Pasta (your preferred tubular pasta and brand)
- 1 lb. Sausage (ground pork sausage or even chicken sausage works well - choose your favorite)
- 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
- 3 Bell Peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green) cut in to strips and then cut strips in half.
- 1 box of reduced fat cream cheese (8 oz).
- 1 ½ cups of light sour cream (about ¾’s of a 16 oz. container)
- ¼ cup Marinara (or your favorite Italian red sauce)
- ½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Cilantro and/or Parsley - chopped (garnish)
- Crushed Red Pepper (to taste – can vary per individual serving if needed)
- Extra Parmesan (to add tableside)
- Brown sausage on medium to medium-high in a 12 qt. sauce pan or wok (you’ll need a large pot as this will end up being where everything is tossed together).
- After browning sausage, drain on a large plate covered in 2-4 paper towels (layered).
- In the same pan/wok, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and all bell peppers. Cook peppers
- at medium heat until only slightly tender (but not mushy!) 5-7 minutes.
- Add back the sausage, and add cream cheese, sour cream, and marinara. Cook until
- cheese is melted and sauce is well blended.
- Add Parmesan cheese and stir until blended.
- Meanwhile, boil water for pasta in a large 3+ quart pot. Salt your water with 2-3 tbsp. of kosher salt (to season your pasta)
- Cook pasta until it is “al dente” or about 2 minutes shy of the package instructions. It will cook some more when you add it to the sauce so don’t over cook.
- Add Pasta to sauce pan/wok and toss with sauce, peppers, and sausage.
- Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Serve on individual plates or shallow bowls and top with chopped cilantro, crushed red pepper and extra parmesan cheese (if desired).
© 2021 copyright 2015 Menubility.com - All Rights Reserved.