• Sean Bardwell

Bourbon, Coffee, Smoked Pepper & Sausage Bake

Before I get into this recipe I want to say thank you to someone. I have four people who have subscribed to my site. Only one of them is NOT related to me and she has actually tried to make the handful of recipes I've posted. I was telling her about this the other other day and she asked me to share it so she had something new to cook. This one is for you Crystal. I hope you and your family enjoy!

One of my favorite new things I've been making is my "Smoked Jalapeno Jelly". I had some leftover smoked green bell peppers seasoned with my Bourbon Barrel Coffee Rub that I was unsure what to do with. I knew I didn't want to throw them out so I decided to write another "hail mary" recipe with what I had on hand.

I started by sauteing the peppers in some olive oil for about 5 minutes.

I removed the peppers from the pan and then browned the sausage. Once the sausage was browned, I added the peppers back in.

Then I deglazed the pan with some bourbon, making it possible to scrape up the brown bits from the sausage.

After that I stir in the pasta sauce. I brewed some Maple Bacon Coffee and added some of that to the empty sauce jar, shook it up and added it to the pan for a little extra flavor.

By this time your pasta water should have reached a boil. Add your pasta and cook until al dente.

You can use whatever pasta you prefer. I'm a fan of cavatappi so that's what I went with.

Drain the pasta, then stir into the sauce.

Add half of the cheese to the sauce and stir to distribute.

I didn't have as much cheese as I thought I did on hand so I cut up some of my wife's cheese sticks and threw them in there. It worked out perfect and I actually recommend doing it.

Finally you're going to add this all to a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbling and enjoy!

Obviously there are certain parts to this recipe that not everyone is going to be able to recreate.

For the peppers you could grill them if you don't want to smoke them or simply dice them and just saute them raw.

The bourbon and coffee could be substituted with wine.

If you want a non-alcoholic version you could substitute white wine vinegar or cider vinegar for the bourbon to deglaze. I don't recommend adding the vinegar to the pasta sauce in the place of the coffee.

If you really want to simplify it, you can skip the deglazing all together but keep in mind, I like to layer flavors so the more steps you skip, the less flavor you will get.


Bourbon, Coffee, Smoked Pepper & Sausage Bake

2 TBL olive oil

2 large, green peppers, smoked & diced

1 lb Italian sausage

3 TBL bourbon

1 24-oz jar pasta sauce

3 TBL coffee

1 lb mixed cheese, shredded & cubed

1 box cavatappi

S & P to taste

Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta. While the water comes to a boil, prepare the sauce.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Saute the peppers until softened but not mushy, 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, transfer the peppers to a separate bowl; then add the sausage to the saute pan.

Cook the sausage, breaking into small pieces. Once the sausage is browned, add the peppers back to the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the bourbon, scraping the pan for any browned bits of sausage. Stir in the pasta sauce. Add the coffee to the empty jar of sauce, cover and shake, then stir the liquid into the sauce. Turn off heat on the sauce and preheat the oven to 375 while waiting for the pasta to cook.

Once the pasta water reaches a boil, add the pasta. Stir so the pasta doesn't clump. Cook until just al dente. Drain, then stir the pasta into the sauce.

Add half of the cheese to the sauce, stirring to evenly distribute.

Transfer the pasta to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes ...until the cheese is bubbling.

"Eat this and B well"

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