More Sausage and Penne, PeasPosted: October 24, 2011
So, it’s fall.
There’s a way I can tell. And not just because the calendar tells me so. Or that I’ve been wearing more long-sleeve shirts to work. Or the plethora of apples & pumpkins everywhere. Or even that a new season of The Walking Dead has started. No, none of that.
It’s the fact that it gets freakin’ dark so freakin’ early.
Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday that the sun was shining at 8:30pm, and you felt summer would last forever … ?
But one good thing about fall is that it’s a chance to make some real comfort food. Like this pasta dish with Italian sausage, peas and a rich, creamy sauce. The flavors just work so well together. It’s a hearty dinner that makes a lot — seriously, you’ll be happily eating this for days — and is really easy to make. Perfect for one of those chilly fall nights. When it’s pitch black at 5.
Italian Sausage, Peas and Penne
– 4 or 5 links of hot Italian sausage
– 1 lb of penne
– 1 medium white onion, chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
– 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
– ¼ cup of fresh oregano, roughly chopped
– 1 cup of heavy cream
– 2 cups of peas, blanched
– ½ cup of grated Parmesan
– Olive oil
– Salt & pepper
Heat your oven to 350º.
Place the sausage links on a baking sheet and roast them for about 15 minutes, until golden and just cooked. Flip sausages halfway through. Remove from oven, let them cool slightly and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
While the sausages are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne until al dente. (A little bit of olive oil in the pot will help them from sticking together.)
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and let cook another minute. I used my garlic press to really squish the garlic into a paste. Add the tomatoes and oregano, season with salt and pepper, and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Then stir in the heavy cream and continue simmering until thick and creamy.
Next add the sausage, peas and cheese. Mix together and cook for a few minutes. Fold in the penne and serve. Top with additional Parmesan if you want, and eat.
This sauce is so rich and creamy. You get a little bite from the peas (along with that bright green color!), some spice from the sausage. And the fresh oregano adds great flavor. Pair it with a salad and some Italian bread, and those dark fall nights get a lot brighter. Yes, peas!
To blanch the peas: Submerge peas into boiling water – 2 ½ minutes for fresh, 1 minute for frozen. Strain and plunge them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Strain again and set them aside until ready to use.