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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Suasage And Pepper Pasta Salad

Nothing says summer quite like pasta salad!  For this pasta salad I had to abandon my usual pasta salad ingredients for a few unusual pasta salad ingredients:  sausage and radicchio.  I decided to take one of my favorite summer grill recipes and transform it into a pasta salad; I was looking for a make-ahead meal that would require very little time and effort to get it from the fridge to the table.  

Sausage And Pepper Pasta Salad by soliloquyoffood.com

It was blazing hot the week I made this, 94 degrees in the Canadian Prairie is H-O-T! Considering that 9 months out of the year it is an arctic tundra-like environment, I'm not really going to kvetch much about the heat.  Plus, I am under the age of 70, so kvetching about the weather is not acceptable.  


We had this as our Fourth Of July dinner with corn-on-the-cob and American (Nathan's) hot dogs.  FYI, as stated in my 22-random-facts-about-myself post, I KNOW what's in a hot dog....I still enjoy one (or 4)  in the summah!!  

The Fourth is just another day in Canada - their holiday is celebrated on July 1st, Canada Day.  On this Fourth Of July we watched the fireworks in NYC, on TV,  and repeatedly chanted U-S-A(!), U-S-A(!), U-S-A(!).  S then lamented (as he does most years) on why he didn't get the costume Carl Weathers/Apollo Creed wore in Rocky IV, which is "available in his large-man-frame size".


photo source:  www.costumeideas.com


I very lightly dressed this salad with some prepared balsamic vinaigrette, I used just 1/4 cup of dressing - plus 2 TBS of vinegar - in hopes of keeping the pasta from drowning in dressing.  Additional dressing can be tossed into each serving if desired. We topped ours with  a few shakes of Frank's Red Hot - if you like hot sauce, you must try it this way!

Sausage And Pepper Pasta Salad by soliloquyoffood.com

I don't have access to a grill or a grill pan....if I did, I would have grilled the sausages and the vegetables.  The charred smokiness would have been a great addition to this pasta salad.  I found a lean chicken Italian-flavored sausage - but feel free to use your favorite variety.  For the radicchio, I finely shredded it and gave it a quick toss in the pot until just wilted.

Sausage And Pepper Pasta Salad by soliloquyoffood.com

The sausage, peppers and basil lend a sweetness, that when combined with the bitter radicchio, the tangy dressing, and the heat from the hot sauce....well, it's just out of this world!

Hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July, with or without the Carl Weathers costume. There's always next year!

Print THIS Recipe
Sausage And Pepper Pasta Salad
makes a giant vat

1 pound of rotini pasta
1 pound of lean Italian sausage links
1/2 cup of water
3 bell peppers (I used red, orange, and yellow)
1 small head of radicchio
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup prepared Italian-style salad dressing (I used balsamic vinaigrette)
1 TBS olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, a few pinches of each
hot sauce, optional

Cook and drain pasta according to the manufacturers instructions; cook until al dente, rinse pasta in cold water to cool, drain well.  Set aside.  

Meanwhile, wash and dry peppers.  Slice each pepper in half remove the core and seeds. Cut each half across the middle width wise - slice these sections into thin strips.  Wash, core, and thinly shred the radicchio.  Set sliced vegetables aside.  

Also, while the pasta is cooking, heat a large covered pan over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage links and 1/2 cup of water.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and continue to simmer for 10 minutes (a moderate bubbling simmer).  Uncover, flip the sausages over and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes until the liquids have a evaporated, the sausages are browned, and the internal temperature reads 160 degrees.  Set sausages aside to cool.   

Wipe out the pan and return it to the stove over medium heat; add 2 tsp olive oil.  When the oil has heated toss the radicchio in the pan with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until just wilted, about 3- 4 minutes.  Remove from pan, set aside to cool.

Return the pan to the heat, add remaining 2 tsp of olive oil.  When the oil has heated toss the sliced peppers, dried basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the peppers have softened yet still have a slight cruch in the middle.  Set aside to cool.  

In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the the vinegar.  Slice the sausages links into 1/4-inch rounds, add them and their juices into the pasta bowl along with the radicchio and peppers.  Drizzle the salad dressing over top; toss everything well to coat.  Roughly chop, or tear, the basil leaves; gently fold into the pasta salad.

Cover and chill at least 2-3 hours before serving.  

When ready, toss and serve.  Top with additional salad dressing or hot sauce, both optional.

Please visit my Link Party page to see where I have shared this post.

21 comments:

  1. Hi Kim, this recipe looks so good and something that my family would love. I pinned it. Thanks for sharing.
    Julie from julieslifestyle.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Julie! I won't tell if you give your doggy-dog a taste ;)

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  2. Kim, this sounds delicious and I love balsamic! Thanks so much for sharing - pinning! Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks Cindy! You can't go wrong with a balsamic dressing.

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Oh yum that looks delicious. As soon as I say Carl Weathers mentioned I had to find out, I haven't watched rocky but he's part on Arrested Development was hilarious!

      Thanks Mel....I accidentally deleted your comment (: I am a tool like that, sometimes
      I am a HUGE AD fan, too! Re-watching the series all over again with the hubs - he hasn't seen it before.

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  4. This looks great! I am a huge fan of pasta salads. What a great idea to use sausage! And I love the color that the pepper bring to it. Nice! Pinning this!

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    1. Thanks Kristin! I love pasta salads, too! In fact, I have to limit myself to 1 pasta salad per week :)

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  5. I do love pasta salad, this sounds delicious. Pasta salads are a especially nice when the temps get so high in the summer - perfect timing! Thanks so much for sharing. (visiting from TGIF Link Party)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas

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  6. You need to embrace Canada remember you are living in such a more civilized place than the US. I know but 4th of July is the best. And this sausage pasta recipe is awesome. I actually might use leftover sausage from grilling to make this. Thanks for sharing it and your other recipes with us on foodie friday.

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    1. I was all in good fun; we were just missing friends, family, and the cookout circuit back home. The hubs does want the robe ensemble though....

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  7. this looks great! I love pasta salads, especially in the summer. adding the chicken sausage is a great idea!

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    1. I live on pasta salads in the summer; they're great made ahead, too. Thanks for stopping by, Alex! Hope you're enjoying your summer thus far :)

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  8. Oh my goodness, if my husband knew that robe existed, he'd probably want one! Love the pasta salad, thanks for sharing at Wicked Good Wednesdays!

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    1. Don't say a word, then. ignorance='s bliss :)

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  9. I love sausage bell pepper pasta salad! I don't know why I haven't thought of it in at least a year, though. Thanks for reminding me!

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  10. I have never had sausage with a pasta salad so am going to have to try because I think I could eat a whole bowl of this! Pinning to my Sides board! Thanks for sharing at All Things Pretty!

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  11. This looks great! Being Italian, I'd have a hard time not eating all of this in one sitting!

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  12. :) I like the sound of this, but not sure about sausage in pasta! I'll have to think about it! Lol. Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers! Please be sure to stop back by the party and check out some of the other links!

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  13. Thanks so much for linking this post up to Create It Thursday…this post was featured this week! I appreciate you sharing such a great idea!
    Leslie @ Lamberts Lately

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