Restaurant-Inspired Recipe: Olive Garden’s Grilled Bell Pepper Sausage Rustica

If you’ve tried sausage and pepper rustica, you’ll know just how tasty it really is and you’ll be thrilled to find out how easy it is to make at home! We love Olive Garden just as much as the next person, but we figured we could recreate one of their best dishes at home and spare our wallets…. This rustica (or ziti, as it can also be referred to) is full of protein, veggies and flavor—sausage, tomatoes, bell peppers—you can’t go wrong! For those nights when you want something that you know everyone will love, but don’t want to spend on taking everyone to a restaurant, this recipe is a clear winner that you’ll love every time!

Restaurant-Inspired Recipe: Olive Garden’s Grilled Bell Pepper Sausage Rustica

Pepper And Sausage Rigatoni

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni or penne or ziti pasta
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz.) can Italian plum tomatoes, with juices
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to packaging directions.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat and cook sausage until browned on all sides. Remove and let cool 2-3 minutes, then slice sausage into 1/4-inch rounds.
  3. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan and add onion and peppers. Cook until translucent and softened.
  4. During the last 1-2 minutes of cooking the veggies, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Then return sliced sausage to pan and toss together.
  5. Pour in tomatoes and chopped basil and use a wooden spoon to break tomatoes up into smaller pieces.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  7. Add pasta to sauce and stir in mozzarella.
  8. Toss everything together to combine and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Olive Garden At Home