Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetables in Tomato Sauce
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers | Freezes well
To me, the classic aroma of sausage and peppers from an Italian street vendor cart is hard to beat (funny, my mom craved that dish when she was pregnant with me). But, while I love the flavors, traditional “old school” sausage can be so fatty. Often I find it’s too heavy, especially for people who have trouble digesting rich foods. Lucky for anyone looking for a lighter alternative, all-natural chicken sausages (usually sold pre-cooked in packages of 4 or 5) are low in fat and packed with flavor. We’ve used a variety of Italian style chicken sausages in this recipe, they all work very well and don’t leave you feeling like you’re swimming in grease. If you like saucy tomato dishes and crave sausage once in a while, this is one of those recipes you’ll come back to again and again. It’s a hearty and satisfying dinner choice, while light enough to feel good about eating both before and after your meal! ~ Susan
1 package pre-cooked Italian style chicken sausages – diagonally sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion – quartered and thinly sliced
1 medium red pepper – quartered and thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper – quartered and thinly sliced
1 large zucchini – halved lengthwise and diagonally sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds – coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes – crushed with your fingers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
optional – hot chile flakes
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onions and sautee until lightly browned.
Add peppers, fennel seeds, granulated garlic, oregano, basil, and the can of tomatoes (crushed through your fingers).
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until peppers are very tender.
Add zucchini, sliced sausage, and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes, just until zucchini is tender, but not too mushy. Serve garnished with hot chile flakes if you like the spice!
Great over brown rice or whole grain pasta with a side of steamed kale.
Try a baked potato, cut in half, topped with the sausage mixture and a side of steamed broccoli.
Get a whole grain baguette, hollow out some of the inside, wrap it in foil and warm it in the oven, then fill it with this mixture for a ridiculously tasty hot sandwich.
A firm style vegetarian Italian “sausage” works well in this dish, as would a good, firm cubed tofu.
I also like using tempeh in this recipe. Use one whole package (my favorite kind is one with flax seeds in it, there are two popular brands which make it that way). Cut tempeh into to 3/4 inch cubes and simmer them in the tomato-pepper mixture for a good 20-30 minutes before adding the zucchini.
Cubed chicken breast or whole shrimp would also work very well.