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Chicken Sausage, Pepper and Onion Pasta Fake-Bake


  • 1 pound rigatoni

  • Salt

  • 1 pound cooked chicken sausages

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and sliced

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces), such as San Marzano brand

  • A handful chopped flat leaf parsley

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (about 10 leaves), torn or shredded

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus some to pass at table


Place a pot of water on the stove to boil for pasta. When the water boils, salt it and cook pasta to al dente.

Prick sausages with a fork. Place chicken sausages in a large skillet and add one inch of water. Add one tablespoon EVOO to the skillet, about one turn of the pan. Bring water to a boil then reduce heat a little. Allow all the liquid to cook away, and then brown and crisp the casings, 5-6 minutes.

Pre-heat broiler.

While pasta and sausage cook, heat a deep skillet over medium heat with two tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper.

When the sausages are cooked through, slice them on an angle and add them to the peppers and onions. Cook together until peppers and onions are tender and sliced sausages are crisp at edges, then deglaze the pan with white wine or chicken stock. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to a bubble; reduce heat to low.

Drain pasta and return to warm pot. Add ricotta cheese, salt and pepper, parsley, basil and half of the Parmigiano Reggiano, a couple of handfuls. Stir to combine.

To assemble the "fake bake," place half the sausage, peppers, onions and sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with all of the pasta and then the remaining sausage and sauce. Cover the top of the dish with the remaining grated Parmigiano Reggiano and place until broiler two minutes to brown cheese and set pasta.