Red Pepper and Garlic Penne Pasta

Red Pepper and Garlic Penne Pasta

Red Pepper and Garlic Penne Pasta is perfect for a weeknight meal. A simple, quick and healthy pasta dish featuring kale and is packed with the flavors of red pepper, garlic, basil and tomato.

red pepper and garlic penne pasta

Have you ever had one of those nights when you just don’t know what to cook? You probably need to go grocery shopping but you don’t feel like it so you have to create something with what you have. That’s how this Red Pepper and Garlic Penne Pasta was born.

I had these roasted red pepper and garlic chicken sausages in the refrigerator and I decided they were calling to be in a pasta dish.

I think randomly making a meal from ingredients in your pantry leads to some of the most creative dinners. It’s a kitchen adventure. I’ve found if you have some type of pasta in your cupboard the task is even easier because you can put almost anything on pasta.

For this Red Pepper and Garlic Penne Pasta I wanted to make a healthy dinner, packed with flavor. I opted for red bell pepper and garlic to enhance the flavors in the sausage. And I cooked everything except the pasta in the same pot to add a depth of flavor. Plus, is makes for an easy clean up.

sausage, tomatoes, garlic, kale, red pepper simmering in the pot

I used diced can tomatoes as a base for my sauce and added the kale because I wanted a healthy meal and what’s healthier than kale. You could substitute spinach instead just add it halfway through cooking. Kale holds its texture a lot longer than spinach.

I chose to add basil along with the Italian seasoning because a little extra basil is never a bad thing. I only had dried basil on hand but if you have fresh, cut it in ribbons and stir it in at the end. That would be so tasty! Can you tell I love basil – it has to be my favorite herb, the smell alone is amazing.

red pepper and garlic penne pasta

The red pepper flakes add a little spice to the dish. I only added a little because I was making it kid friendly but if you happen to love spicy food like I do, you could always add more or top it during serving. I sprinkled mine with a little red pepper flakes along with some more parmesan cheese, because pasta topped with extra cheese just makes it so much better. How I love cheese, all the varieties and uses, cheese is one of the best foods.

Now back to the meal, this dish is simple, quick and healthy. Who could ask for more? Feel free to experiment with the meal or even take the sausage out all together for a vegetarian option. That’s the beauty with cooking – there’s always room for creativity.

red pepper and garlic penne pasta

Print Recipe
Red Pepper and Garlic Penne Pasta
Red Pepper and Garlic Penne Pasta is perfect for a weeknight meal. A simple, quick and healthy pasta dish featuring kale and is packed with the flavors of red pepper, garlic, basil and tomato.
red pepper and garlic penne pasta
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
red pepper and garlic penne pasta
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Save at least ½ cup of pasta water.
  2. Heat sausage in water over medium-high heat until water evaporates.
  3. Turn to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, garlic and bell pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes until sausages start to brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes, kale, red pepper flakes, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
  5. Add ½ cup pasta cooking water and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir and then add pasta. Mix in parmesan cheese and season to taste. Serve topped with extra parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes.
Recipe Notes

I used roasted red pepper and garlic chicken sausage because it’s what I had, but you can use any similar flavor chicken sausage.

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