If you crave the taste of Italy on a dime and have no time, these decadent Creamy Red Shells are the getaway you’ve been waiting for! Take the tasty pilgrimage to the Italian countryside with this luscious, savory sausage that engulfs a mouth-changing charge of red-pepper-sauce-smothered pasta. It will truly have your mind (and your tummy) roaming with glee. Enjoy the voyage away from the ordinary with these Creamy Red Shells. Your budget and your family will adore you for it! Prego!

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces mild Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, freshly grated
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

Step 1 –In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions.

Step 2 –Drain the water from the pasta and return it to the pot.

Step 3 –In a blender, add the red bell peppers and the chicken stock and blend until it is smooth.

Step 4 –In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil.

Step 5 –Add the sausage and the onion to the oil and cook, while crumbling the meat, until the sausage is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 6 –Drain the excess grease from the skillet.

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Step 7 –Return the sausage mixture to the stovetop over medium-high heat, stir in the garlic and the Italian seasoning and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 8 –Whisk the flour into the sausage mixture until it has lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Step 9 –Gradually whisk the red bell pepper mixture and the tomato sauce into the sausage mixture

Step 10 –Bring the sausage mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reduces and slightly thickens, about 6-8 minutes.

Step 11 –Stir the cooked pasta and the heavy cream into the sausage mixture and cook until it is heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

Step 12 –Season the pasta mixture with the kosher salt and the black pepper.

Step 13 –Stir the parmesan cheese into the pasta mixture and cook until it has melted, about 2 minutes.

Step 14 –Stir the basil into the pasta mixture.

Step 15 –Transfer the pasta mixture from the stovetop and serve immediately.