Grilling the peppers and sausage in this dish is a naturally healthy cooking method to boost flavor of meats and vegetables without adding fat and calories.
Grilling onions, for example, helps to bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetable while also adding that classic char from the grill. In honor of grilling season, here are a few of my top grilling tips:
1. Frequent Rotation: Every minute or so, rotate the vegetables or meats about 45 degrees to help enhance flavor. The more you rotate, the more surface touches the grill and as a result you will end up with more flavor. There is no need for two perfect grill marks – the more grill marks, the better!
2. Do Not Poke Meat: Tongs are your friend at the grill. Throw out those ridiculous over-sized forks. Every time you poke meat with a fork (or knife), you are draining out the natural juices of the meat. End result? Dry meat. Awesome.
3. Grills Aren’t Just For Burgers: Think outside the box and get outside as much as possible this Summer. One of my favorite salads is my Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing. If you’ve never grilled lettuce give it a try – it is not soggy, I promise. Another great idea? Roast garlic on the grill – cut off the end of a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Place in your grill for 15 minutes and you’ll have lots of creamy cloves of roasted garlic to spread on bruchetta or toss in pasta.
Your grill is waiting.
Sausage and Peppers Pasta
- 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti or pasta of choice
- 4 links Italian sausage hot or sweet
- 2 large red bell peppers de-stemmed, seeded and cut big chunks for grilling
- 1 large yellow onion cut thick slices
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 14 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
- ¼ c fresh basil
- ⅛ c fresh parsley
- parmigiano reggiano to taste
- Pre-heat grill to high.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
- Place sausages on the grill and rotate every 3 minutes or so until fully cooked (about 8 minutes.)
- Lightly brush onions and peppers with half the olive oil and salt/pepper to taste.
- Grill for 3-4 minutes per side then remove from grill.
- While sausage and veggies are cooking, heat remaining olive oil in a large sauce pan and saute garlic and red chili flakes for 30-60 seconds. (Careful not to burn garlic.)
- Add fire roasted tomatoes and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
- When sausages and veggies come off the grill, cut into bite sized pieces. Add to tomato sauce. and stir in pasta.
- Use reserved pasta cooking liquid to add moisture if needed.
- Garnish with fresh basil, parsley and cheese.