July 26, 2007

Presto Pasta!

I bet you can get a pretty good idea from this blog that I enjoy pasta. I enjoy it even more when it's dressed in a rich creamy sauce. We made this weeks ago and wished we could eat it for days on end. This recipe is based on a Rachael Ray recipe called Peasant Pasta. Her recipe is plainly rich tomato cream sauce and I've make ours a little spicy, which I think is a little more fun.

We cook together spicy sausage with garlic, cayenne pepper, a dash of chili powder, crushed tomatoes and cream. Peas and a handful of fresh basil are stirred into the sauce and tossed with penne pasta. So, if you don't like sausage, I'm sorry. You're really missing out. We used turkey sausage this time with great success, but chicken would also be great in this. I would increase the spices though, since the recipe calls for hot Italian sausage. This isn't really that spicy of a dish, it just balances out the richness of the cream. I believe I ate my portion in total silence until I was practically licking the plate - it's that good.

This recipe makes a ton, so I like to freeze half the sauce (before adding the cream or basil) to use another time. We toss the remaining half with about 1/2 lb of pasta and still have plenty for lunch the next day!

Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce with Sausage and Peas

1 lb hot Italian sausage or turkey sausage links, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or more

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup cream

20 fresh basil leaves, torn

parmesan cheese

3/4 lb penne or other tubular pasta

Cook the sausage in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, breaking it up into bite size chunks. Cook all the way through, drain off any grease and return to heat. Add the garlic, cayenne, chili powder, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Bring to a boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Salt the water and cook penne 10-12 minutes. Deglaze the pan with chicken broth, scraping the pan and letting the broth reduce. Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Taste and add more cayenne or black pepper if it isn't spicy enough. Stir in the cream, peas and torn basil. Taste once more for seasoning. Toss the drained pasta with the sauce and serve with grated parmesan cheese. Serves 6.I'm submitting this to Ruth's Presto Pasta Night gathering over at Once Upon a Feast since it is pasta and a quick dish at that. Enjoy the meal ideas over there each Friday!


katiez said...

Looks wonderful.... and it must taste even better!
I love a creamy, slightly spice, tomato sauce... and I must remember the peas! They make it so pretty... pretty food is good!
Now, if only I could figure out that 'portion' thing... not the whole dish, not the whole dish, not the

Ruth Daniels said...

Megan, it has me drooling at 7:30 am! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. The roundup will be posted tomorrow.

Hope to see you at PPN often!

Genie said...

Yum! Looks really delicious, Megan. I, too, share your lust for creamy-rich, tasty pasta sauces. And if there's a zing to it, all the better!

Katerina said...

You had me at spicy tomato cream sauce... Looks great!

Nerissa said...

wow! I'm in love. Pasta, will you marry me?