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In college, I sang in an a cappella group.

It was pretty cool, and now I work in a cappella.

The thing about a cappella groups is, that, after concerts come parties.

And sometimes, girls and boys get to know each other at these parties.

I tell you all this because I want you to be fully informed of how collegiate a cappella works.  I think it’ll be good for your personal well-being.

One time, I met a boy at one of these parties.  A few weeks later, the same boy made me this pasta.

His family was from Italy, which made for some dang good pasta.

Penne with Sausage and Peppers

You’re gonna love this!  For 4-6 servings, here’s what you need:

  •  cooked short pasta
  • 3 links spicy or mild italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 small onion (or half of a large onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large can crushed or diced tomatoes (or whole that you crush up….whatever)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley and parmesan cheese, for serving

First, prep the sausage.  Look at this nice fresh stuff I had!  Well….as fresh as ground up animal carcass with tons of salt to preserve it can be.

What I’m saying is, I love sausage.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil (OR THE PASTA WATER, look at all the time you could save!) and drop the sausage links into the water for 5-7 minutes.

Then, remove the sausage from the water and let it drain on paper towels until it’s cool enough to handle.

Gray sausage isn’t very appealing to me, so I vote we fix the gray.

Heat a large pan to medium heat, to crisp up the sausage.

Slice the sausage into pieces – don’t worry if it’s not all the way cooked through yet!

Crisp the sausage pieces for 5-10 more minutes until they are brown and crispy and lovely and wonderful.

While the sausage is crisping, gather your pasta and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.

While the sausage is cooking (or way before all this, it doesn’t matter), chop the onion and bell pepper, then slice the jalapeno and mince the garlic.

Nicely done.  Now, if the sausage is done, remove it to a plate to rest while you make the sauce in the same pan.

Sometimes I eat half the sausage while I’m making the rest of the dinner….you should try not to be like me.

Timesaving Note:  you could easily cook the sausage and veggies and pasta at the same time in three separate pans to save some time. I like crisping the sausage in the same pan as the sauce first because then the pan tastes like sausage, which is a good thing.  It’s up to you, though!

While you’re making the sauce, cook the pasta, if you haven’t already.

Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the onion and peppers with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to the pan.

Stir the veggies around for 3-5 minutes until they start to soften.

when the veggies are soft, stir in the garlic and let it soften for one minute, then add the tomatoes.

Delicious!  Let this simmer for a few minutes, and taste it to see if you’d like to add some more salt or pepper.

You can add a few ladles of pasta water too, right before you drain it.  It’ll help everything stick together!

Once the tomato sauce is ready, add the sausage back to the pan.

Stir in the sausage, and let the sauce simmer over low heat until you’re ready to serve.

Right before you’re ready to use the sauce, stir in the sour cream and let it heat through.

The sauce is done!  You can serve this any way you like.  I like to mix half the sauce with the pasta….

Then top each serving with more sauce.

Because, that is, like, totally delicious.

And look!  I also use a carrot scraper (because I don’t scrape carrots, I scrub them) to make big pieces of parm to top this bad boy with.

Enjoy this one, guys!  You’re welcome for being THAT GIRL in college.  It allowed me to bring you this gem.

Not really.  I was well-behaved.