Homemade Sausage and Pepper pasta made with ground pork, chopped bell peppers and an easy homemade marinara sauce, this recipe is totally from scratch and kid friendly!
Sausage and Pepper Pasta made from scratch…well everything is from scratch except the pasta and the cheese. We can climb those hills another day. We do make the sausage from scratch along with the marinara sauce, using my Quick and Easy Marinara Sauce which is a recipe you will absolutely want to bookmark immediately.
How to make Sausage and Pepper Pasta
This recipe calls for a homemade sausage recipe. You can of course use pre-made pork sausage in your recipe. I chose to make my own because making sausage at home is as easy as using the ground spices sitting unloved in your cabinet.
If you’d like to skip using ground pork in the recipe you can also cook Italian Sausage links and slice the sausage into the pasta to serve it with pieces of sausage. I prefer crumbles of sausage to slices, but that’s just personal preference.
How to make Italian Sausage?
- Add ground pork to a large skillet with olive oil.
- Add crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and fennel.
- If using fennel seeds toast them before adding them.
- If making sausages mix seasonings into ground pork before cooking.
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When it comes to choosing which marinara sauce to use you can choose to use a jarred variety or use my homemade recipe here on the site. Either way, the recipe calls for 4 cups, you can use 1 jar in it’s place.
The key with marinara sauce is to make sure you don’t let it reduce too much or when it sits after you take it off the heat your pasta won’t be as saucy. Tomato sauce will thicken as it sits. So remember to remove it from the heat while it is still just a bit saucier than you want to serve it.
I highly recommend when you make homemade marinara sauce you make the recipe in a bigger batch and freeze your extra portions. We make our homemade recipe x6 and keep the portions for later, so this recipe only takes 30 minutes from start to finish.
You can use shredded cheese or cubed cheese, the options are yours to make. The reason we used cubed mozzarella cheese in this recipe is because while the cubes of cheese sit in the pasta for a few minutes before serving they make small melted pools of mozzarella, but they don’t overwhelm the whole dish.
If we were to coat the whole top of the pan with cheese this would be closer to the style of a Baked Million Dollar Spaghetti or baked ziti recipe.
- 8 ounces gemelli pasta
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoons ground fennel
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 4 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese cubed
- Cook the pasta one minute shy of the directions, drain and do not rinse.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat along with the ground pork, fennel, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, salt, black pepper, garlic and onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the bell peppers and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until softened, stir in the marinara sauce and pasta, top with mozzarella cheese and serve.