Sweet Pepper Jambalaya

This dish was intended to be a soup up until the onions and peppers were literally sauteing. It was at that moment I decided to make it a little more substantial.

I wanted this to go a little further and stick to my ribs more than a soup would. That's when I made the executive decision to turn it into a jambalaya-inspired dish. I went to the pantry and grabbed a can of tomato sauce and a cup of rice to throw in the pot. Then I added just half of the broth I was originally going to add because that's all the liquid I would need for the rice.

I call it jambalaya, but it's not really cajun or creole in the way it's spiced and it doesn't have any seafood. But this is pretty much how I would go about making jambalaya if I wanted to go that route. What I love about a dish like this is how the rice and liquid congeal to create an almost creamy texture that sees to surround all the wonderful flavors that are the real star of the show.

The end result was a hardy and delicious one pot meal. For me, it stored well and was easy to reheat and take to work for dinner. I got 4 servings out of it, so it would be perfect for a family for dinner.

This recipe started out as an attempt to get rid of sweet peppers I had bought on sale and wanted to use up before they started to wilt. I really couldn't decide what to make even as I was dicing things up, I was just going the direction of a soup and it evolved into this dish. It was fun just letting it happen. It's as if I started writing a sentence before I knew what the final words would be. I should experiment like this more in the future.

Eat well, cook often ...

Serves 4, 40 miniutes
1 lb Italian sausage
3 C sweet peppers, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbs garlic, minced
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 can tomato sauce (15.5 oz)
2 C vegetable broth
1 C long grain rice

In a soup pot over medium heat, brown Italian sausage 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate or bowl. Add sweet pepper and onion to pot and sauté in sausage drippings until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste. Stir in Italian seasonings and garlic, cook 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Return sausage to pot and add tomato sauce, broth and rice. Mix well. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer 15 minutes, turn off heat, let rest with cover on for 10 minutes more. Remove lid and fluff. Rice should have absorbed nearly all liquid and be tender. Scoop and serve.