Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spicy Sausage Penne

As a college student I remember being limited on equipment, time, and cash to really make all of my mom's recipes.  I was playing varsity tennis and soccer while carrying a full 16 hour load, including Organic Chemistry--but living off-campus with a reduced meal card forced me into making simple dishes with leftovers.

I hit the local Good Will to get a decent, second-hand 5-qt saucepan and I invested in a large, decent Teflon skillet at the time. Why? Because you can pretty much use them for anything--boiling water, making rice, searing hamburgers, sautéing onions, making soup or spaghetti sauce, boiling ramen--you get my drift!

What's even better is when you have a recipe that is either completely made within one piece of kitchen equipment, i.e. one-pot cooking...or, maybe two, as in this case. The idea is to keep things simple and contained with high yield in flavor, friends and leftovers!

Check this out! Really, no more than 30 - 40 minutes from the minute you walk in the door!
(Adapted from Tyler Florence's Dinner At My Place cookbook)

Spicy Sausage Penne 

5-qt saucepan
Dutch Oven or large skillet
Cookie sheet

4 Hot Italian Sausages, cut 1/4" diagonally
1 lb of dried penne
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbls olive oil
1 28 oz can San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 - 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup peas (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan + extra

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. (when you walk in the door)
3. Roast your 4 sausages on the cookie sheet at 350F degrees x 15 minutes. Turn x 5 min. Cool and slice diagonally. (start heating your salted water for the pasta )

4. Fill 5-qt saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Cook your pasta. Drain your pasta as instructed.
(use the down-time while pasta boils & sausage roast to prep your other ingredients)

5. Prep your other ingredients while pasta boils, i.e. onions, garlic, grated cheese, basil, and peas.

6. Heat 2 Tbls of olive oil over MEDIUM heat and sauté onions / garlic until translucent and fragrant.
(in the time you boiled / roasted / prepped, maybe 20-25 minutes have passed. throw it together now)

7. Add tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

8. Simmer x 15 minutes on LOW heat.
9. Add cream and continue to cook until smooth and creamy.

10. Add sausage, peas, and parmesan. Stir until combined for 2-3 minutes.

11. Add your pasta and serves this up with additional basil / sprinkle of cheese.

Fantastic for left-overs and enough to go around!

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