Pasta With Bell Peppers and Chicken Sausage

I sent my little guy to school with a peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich today. Is that bad? It’s bad. . . . Right?
No, I don’t think so. I had a momentary flash of guilt that his lunch entrĂ©e included marshmallow creme, but I pretty much talked myself out of it right away. It’s just to help the peanut butter go down. And peanut butter is good. It’s the protein item for the day, and it’s sandwiched with the marshmallow creme in whole wheat bread – so, overall, the sandwich is good.
I’m a big fan of protein. In my house I have the reputation for being protein’s number one cheerleader. I don’t really know why I love it, I just do. It goes with all the other healthy things – fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy, and protein – it’s just quicker to say than, “meats and nuts”. To exaggerate my love for all things protein, we tend to say it with an accent – with a long ‘I’ at the end instead of the long ‘e’: “Prot(eye)n”. It’s best said as though it’s skater lingo.
No big surprise then, that my favorite part of this dish is the prot(eye)n. This particular sausage has a great healthy factor to it, and it’s incredibly tasty. Even the little guy chows it down.
The dish is really nothing special. I’m sure similar things have been whipped up by zillions of other people on the fly, but I thought I’d share anyway. I love that it comes together VERY quickly, there is minimal prep involved, and it appeals to adult and kiddo palates. Kids can pick out big chunks if they’re not fans of the peppers, adults can add seasoning on at the end if it’s not spicy enough. The sausage?
Well, who wouldn’t love it? It’s prot(eye)n.


Pasta with Bell Peppers and Chicken Sausage

1 box of Rotini pasta
1/2 of a medium red onion, diced
about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (maybe a little more for drizzling on at the end)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, sliced or diced, (however you like them)
4-6 links Aidelle’s Sundried Tomato with Mozzarella Cheese chicken sausage, diced.
12 – 15 fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn
1/4 cup or more fresh grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and saute red onion until almost translucent. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, being careful not to let the garlic brown. Add the sausage and cook till it starts to brown. Add the bell peppers and cook until they are tender but still a little on the crunchy side. Remove from heat and add pasta, basil, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Toss. Drizzle with olive oil if needed, and sprinkle individual servings with fresh grated parmesan.

By the way, sorry about the sub-par photo. It was a hurried snap before we devoured dinner! Better blurry than nothing though, right?

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