By Alicia Ross
When I designed my new kitchen, I had wonderful dreams of my first dinner in the new place: I’d cook all day, decorate the table with fresh flowers and candelabras, and serve at least six courses of my favorite dishes.
Instead of my dream party, the first dinner I cooked was pasta with a batch of sweet Italian sausage sauce to feed the hungry friends and family members who helped me move in. Tired and hungry, we needed sustenance.
Thank goodness the pantry contents, refrigerated items and pans were the first things to be moved. As eager as I was to get in my dream kitchen, making a simple, 20-minute pasta dinner was never what I thought my first “new kitchen” dinner would look like. But with a pound of sweet Italian sausage, a can of crushed tomatoes, a few veggies and some seasoning on hand, just 20 minutes later, we were sitting down to dinner.
Pasta satisfies and never seems to disappoint. The multicourse dinner party will have to wait. As usual, real life happens instead. Besides, I haven’t unpacked the candelabras yet!
In the meantime, I hope you will try today’s recipe for Penne With Sweet Italian Sausage Sauce and be as satisfied and fulfilled as we were. Enjoy!
PENNE WITH SWEET
ITALIAN SAUSAGE SAUCE
12 oz. penne pasta
1 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage, onions and mushrooms, and cook until sausage is cooked through and crumbled, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain excess fat if necessary.
Reduce heat to low and stir in garlic and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain pasta well and add to the sauce. Toss until pasta is well coated.
Serve in shallow pasta bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to taste.
Makes 6 servings.
Each serving has about 349 calories, 8.5 grams fat (2.8 grams saturated), 64 milligrams cholesterol, 22 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams dietary fiber, 701 milligrams sodium.