Thursday, December 05, 2013

Red and Green: Sausage and Pepper Penne

Thatboy's family does steak for Christmas Eve dinner.  So for the past 13 years, that's what I've eaten.  But before that, my Christmas memories were much more...Italian.  

Growing up in a town without Jews, I spent Christmas Eve with my Catholic friends.  And one friend in particular whose family celebrated according to her father's family's tradition - the Italian Christmas.  So for me, Christmas meant setting with her mom and watching the long strands of spaghetti roll from the pasta machine, smelling the sweet smell of pizzelles, and keeping a lookout for La Befana. 

There is something so magical about sharing traditions.  Getting a glimpse into how different people celebrate and feeling a part of their family.  And the holidays are a wonderful time for this, because during the holidays you can never have too much family.  

This dish isn't anything that my Italian friend would have shared at Christmas dinner, but it calls back memories of those meals just the same.  The red and green peppers seem very "in the spirit" and although not homemade, the pasta brings Christmas to mind.  In the spirit of true Italian pasta, this has a very simple sauce without much adornment.  Just tomato sauce with a little sugar and pepper.

Sausage and Pepper Penne
8oz penne
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 red pepper sliced
1/2 lb ground sausage
1 can of tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet.  Add onions and peppers and saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage and cook until browned.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and sugar and stir.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve.


  1. Yum! I do love a simple pasta dish.

  2. I agree with you! It is amazing how differently each one of us celebrates and yet there is a common element to all these, the family spirit!

  3. I haven't thought about pizzelles in AGES!! You've made me miss them. As much as I miss eating sufganiyot during Hanukkah since I no longer seem to be invited to any Hanukkah parties.

  4. This sounds like a great winter weather recipe!