Penne with sausage

We had VIP guests (Roo’s parents) come over for dinner tonight, and I was stressing all week about what to make. Saturday morning came, and I still had no idea. Finally, I told Roo to just, for the love of God, tell me what to make, and he came up with the idea of penne with sausage. I have a pasta that I make with sausage and bell peppers, but I decided to google to see if any other recipes jumped out at me. I know it is risky trying a brand new recipe on an important occasion, but since this one looked easy, and the reviews all indicated that it was delicious and there wasn’t much to tweak, I thought it’d be ok.

Penne Pasta with Sausage
Recipe from Sandra Lee


1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake, optional
4 Italian-style hot pork sausages, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
Basil leaves, for garnish


Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning mix and red pepper flakes, if using. Sir frequently and cook until the onions are soft and fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 1 minute. Add can of crushed tomatoes, stirring all the ingredients together to combine. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and mix well.

Drain the pasta and add directly to the skillet with the sauce Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with basil leaves.


Ok, the only things I changed were I used an entire onion (I hate recipes that call for 1/2 an onion – who does that??), removed the sausage casings, and sprinkled parmesan cheese on top as a final touch. I was a little worried that the heat from the sausage and the red pepper flakes would be too spicy for the ILs, but they seemed to love it! It was really easy to prepare, and there was plenty left over. I think the recipe says it makes 4 servings, but I think it’d easily be enough for 6-8! I served with fresh mixed greens salad, and garlic bread. Bon appétit, mes amis!

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