Sausage and Peppers Pasta Salad
Sausage and Peppers Pasta Salad
I have been thinking about this sausage and peppers pasta salad since eating it as a child. For the life of me I could not remember who made it first. My Mom says it was my Aunt Deb but I am not so sure. Either way, it was so good that I have been thinking of it for nearly 40 years. I decided to make it from memory today. It is just as good as I remember. This Sausage and Peppers Pasta Salad has very few ingredients but the few that do, pack a punch. Made with cheese tortellini and sausage. I also have you make a very simple vinaigrette using ingredients you probably have on hand. This will be the Summer salad of your dreams.
Sweet Cherry Peppers
The only somewhat unique ingredient in this recipe to some, are these Sweet Cherry Peppers. This brand by the company Mezzetta is my favorite. I find this product in most grocery stores. I will link their website here, for more information and where to buy these products. These peppers are sweet and tangy. A splash of the liquid is added to the vinaigrette you make for this salad. If you do not find these you can substitute any pickled peppers, but these are unique and delicious and add some pizazz.
I am not partial to any particular brand of tortellini. This is the one I bought at my local grocery store in rural Michigan. I do recommend using frozen over fresh. The frozen pasta holds up better in the dressing than the fresh pasta seems to. The measurements for my salad are suggested, you can use as much or as little as you prefer.
The vinaigrette I have you make is a simple one. It calls for white wine vinegar, olive oil, some of the pepper juice, sugar, pepper and oregano. The measurements for the sugar and spice are a suggestion. Feel free to adjust to your preferences. I do recommend using the same ratio for the vinegar and olive oil as you do not want this salad too oily. Since you are adding cooked Italian sausage to this, you do not want it too oily.
- 13oz bag of tri-color tortellini or any tortellini, I use cheese
- 3 Italian sausage links
- 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of white sugar
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- 6 to 8 Sweet Cherry Peppers (these are in the pickle aisle, picture of them in the post)
- 1 tablespoon of liquid from the sweet cherry peppers
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped green olives
- Black pepper
- Diced tomatoes
- diced red onion
- diced mozzarella cheese
- Grill your Italian sausages and set them aside in the fridge to cool before slicing, You can cook them any way you please but I feel that grilling adds great flavor to this salad.
- In a bowl combine the vinegar with the sugar, whisk until dissolved. Add the oregano, black pepper and the splash of the cherry pepper juice. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Then add the olive oil, whisk to combine. This can be made ahead of time and tastes even better as it sits.
- Boil your tortellini as the package directs. Drain, and rinse with cold water so that you remove any excess starch. This is important when using a pasta for a salad. It is important to cook these to al dente since this pasta softens even more as it sits in the dressing.
- Slice the tops off your sweet cherry peppers and use a small teaspoon or measuring spoon to scoop out as many of the seeds as you can. If there are a few seeds left, no problem. Finely dice these and add to a large bowl.
- Mince your green olives and add to the peppers.
- When the sausage is cooled completely, slice into thin circles or halves or quarters. Whatever you prefer. I like circles. Add the sausage to the bowl with the peppers.
- Next add the tortellini, toss well to combine.
- Add the dressing toss well to combine. You can serve right away or let sit in the fridge up to overnight. To me it tastes better the longer it sits.
- You can add diced cheese, tomatoes and onions of you like.
- I also sometimes add fresh parmesan before serving.
Sandwich Sausage and Peppers
If this salad is appealing to your taste buds, give my recipe for Sausage and Peppers a try!