Friday, April 8, 2011

penne with sausage and peas

two years ago kelsey had a friend, lindsay come to stay the nite....on new years eve.  we decided to make this quick pasta dish for a cozy evening with the girls.... it was such a hit, lindsay decided she wanted  to reheat the leftover pasta for her breakfast.  needless to say i packed up what was left after breakfast for her to take home. 
so if it's late afternoon or early evening and  you have some sausage hanging around....a box of penne a few other basics, you can whip up an awesome dinner in a few short minutes.  it tastes wonderful and it is super easy.  tyler florence calls it "penne with spicy italian sausage, cream, tomatoes, and peas" in his dinner at my place cookbook.  (a great cook book by the way!!!!)  rachel ray calls her version peasant pasta .  here is my twist on it.

you'll need
3-6 links of italian sausage...i like to use Perri's sweet italian sausage ( if you like spicy use hot sausage)
1 pound of dried penne rigate
extra virgin olive oil
1 whole onion chopped (red, yellow, or vidalia will do)
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 28 oz. can of san marzano tomatoes (hand crushed)
1 sprig of fresh thyme pulled off the stem.
large handful of fresh parsley chopped
1/4 cup of heavy cream or half and half
1 cup of frozen peas (thawed in a cup of warm water then drained)
parmigiano-reggiano to taste

recipe continues after the jump

pre-heat the oven to 375F.  take a big dutch oven and add olive oil get it hot on medium heat drop in the chopped onion and cook until translucent then add the chopped garlic.  meanwhile get out a sheet pan, cover with parchment squeeze the sausage out of the casing and drop it in bite size balls onto the pan and put it in a 375 oven to  brown it.  (about 20 minutes) jiggle the pan now and then to roll them around.  put a big pot of water on to boil for the pasta...(add some kosher salt).  when the onions are done add the chicken stock to the dutch oven and reduce it by half then add the tomatoes and thyme and  when the sausage is done take it off the pan with tongs and drop it into the sauce.  simmer the sauce for 20 minutes. stir in the cream during the last 2 minutes.
boil the pasta per directions on the box....maybe one minute less than it calls for.  when the pasta is done drain it then dump it in the sauce and cook for 1 minute, stirring it all together.  check for seasoning add a little salt and pepper if need be, add the parsley  and dump in the peas...shave on the parm and you are ready to go.  hoo dee hoo! this is really really good!

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