Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers

The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily play around with it. Don't have sausage? Use shrimp instead. Have lots of basil? Add more. Don't have capers? Just leave them out. Have Parmesan? Sprinkle some on at the end if you like.

Prep the ingredients while the pasta water is heating.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound Italian sausage, sweet or hot
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 3-4 large fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 pound linguine or other pasta


1 Heat a large pot of salted water (1 Tbsp salt per 2 quarts of water) to a boil.

2 Brown the sausage, add garlic, roasted red peppers, capers and olives: While the water is heating, prepare the sausage and peppers. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up into bits with your fingers as you add it to the pan or with a wooden spoon once it's in the pan.

pasta-sausage-tomatoes-peppers-method-1 pasta-sausage-tomatoes-peppers-method-2

When the sausage starts to brown, add the garlic and cook for another minute. Mix in the roasted red peppers, capers and olives. If the pasta water isn't boiling yet, remove the sauté pan from the heat.

3 Cook the pasta: Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot.

4 Add chopped tomatoes and basil to sausage mixture: When the pasta is almost done, increase the heat to high on the sauté pan and when the sausage mixture starts to sizzle, add the chopped tomatoes and basil. Toss to combine and lower the heat to medium-low.


5 Combine pasta and sausage mixture: Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl. Add the sausage mix to the bowl and toss to combine.

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  • Lisa

    This is the perfect mid-week dinner option! I made this for my family last night, and made a separate version without the sausage for my daughter who is a vegetarian. Both were excellent and everything was ready in less than an hour. Thank you for the terrific recipe Elise!


  • Judy

    We loved this recipe! Best new dish I’ve tried in a long time.

  • Claire

    made this tonight and it was fantastic!!

  • David

    I made this last night. It was delicious. I used mostly plum tomatoes from our garden, since that’s what we had. They were very meaty and not very juicy. I didn’t have any roasted peppers (or ones to roast) so I left them out, but added a finely chopped jalapeno for some kick. I used hot italian sausage which I took out of the casings and broke up into small, marble sized pieces. I didn’t use capers as neither of us like them. I added 1/2 tsp of salt to compensate for the lack of capers and about 1 tsp of fresh ground pepper when I put in the tomatoes and basil (also fresh from the garden) which I chiffonaded. While it was not “saucy”, which I usually prefer, this was amazingly delicious. It was like eating at Olive Garden or even a higher end Italian restaurant.

  • Peter

    Made this as directed but with shrimp as suggested and thought it was terribly bland. There’s no “There” there! Maybe will try the sausage version someday.

    Hi Peter, I’m thinking that if you use shrimp you probably need to add some herbs or spices, or even chili flakes. Sausage has a lot of added seasonings. ~Elise

  • Sarah

    A great addition to any olive oil-based sauce is some lemon juice. I add it to the pan as I cook the vegetables and meat- it adds that perfect hint of brightness to any pasta dish!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks

    Favorite. Meal. Evar. And. Beyond.

  • Angela

    People forget how versatile the sausage is (afterall its just pork rolled into a sausage skin).
    Last night I thought I didn’t have anything in the fridge for dinner, but ended up making a delicious pasta sauce with some chirizo sausage, some pasta sauce I had left over from another meal and some Swiss Chard, finished off with Parmesan! Very good!Sadly I didn’t take a picture of it to prove it!

  • Tina

    This is almost identical to my favorite quick pasta recipe (I use that term very loosely, since I just sort of throw this together). Instead of roasting the peppers, they just get a quick saute in the rendered fat from the sausage along with onion, a healthy dose of garlic and zucchini, toss in halved cherry tomatoes long enough to heat them through a little and toss everything with the pasta. Easiest weeknight meal ever!

  • Andrea

    Wow, so delicious — oddly enough, I stopped at the local farm and picked up vegetables to make this (minus the sausage) and include some onions. You are always so inspiring; I love your blog and visit here often whenever I need a pick me up in the cooking world.

    Thank you!

  • Scott

    This is a great quicky. Even roasting the peppers is quick. It’s a great way to start a quiet evening. Many thanks.

    By the way, your Dark and Stormy made me Bright and Happy (so I’m told.) Let’s do that again!

  • Jane

    Just because I don’t like them, I’d leave out the olives and capers, and perhaps add some red pepper flakes. That being said, I love the simplicity of this, and imagine that the olive oil, the fat from the sausage, the juice from the garden tomatoes, and the residual water on the pasta would create a sort of sauce/binder, no?

    I guess you could put the pasta right into the sauce pot for a minute or two, which would help things hang together.

    Bruce’s Chicken Chile Verde recipe is in our regular rotation–what a great simple brilliant recipe!

  • Sally

    That sounds delicious — with sausage OR shrimp.

  • Hank

    Elise – how does a person roast their own red bell peppers? I’ve seen chille peppers roasted on top of the stove to get the outsides off, do you do the same with red bell peppers, or should they be roasted in the oven for awhile? (Sorry, I’m too cheep to buy them in the jar… LOL)

    Yes, you roast them the same way as chili peppers. You can either blacken them over flame on the stove top, under a broiler, or on a grill. More details can be found in our roasted red bell pepper recipe. ~Elise

  • ray chapa

    Amazing, I love Comfort Italian Food and this is so easy to produce that anyone trying this will be a star. This dish is always a hit and will be welcome at any table. Happy Eating.

  • Mike

    OK. Roasted red BELL peppers? Red jalapenos? These ingredients sound tastey, but messy. Any thoughts about a way to bind this dish? Like a thickener?

    Bell peppers. There’s no binder. It’s just tossed together, like a mixed green salad, but on pasta. ~Elise