Today I’m sharing a super delicious pasta recipe that is great for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough for a dinner party when paired with a great salad and a glass of wine.
This recipe was created by my Dad, but slightly modified by me… because I can never make it exactly the same way! Thankfully, cooking is cool like that, and this dish will not disappoint.
Here are most of the ingredients, with staples like olive oil, butter, salt & pepper left out.
1 lb Italian sausage, ground (My store carries it this way, you can cut up links if you cannot find it)
1 lb penne pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced (I buy from the bulk bin, approx 15-20)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Fresh basil & parmesan for serving
First, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large dutch oven & brown sausage. A deep saute pan will also work.
Remove the sausage and place in medium size bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon butter, and cook mushrooms until all the liquid is evaporated. This may take several minutes. Remove them and place in the bowl with the sausage.
Next, add 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil to the pan. Add in onion, red bell pepper, garlic, oregano & basil. Saute until softened and onion is starting to turn golden. At this point, add in the wine and reduce by half.
Add the can of tomatoes with their juices and reduce this by half as well. This dish is a little time consuming, but it it worth it. Plus, it gives you a few minutes to check Facebook or Twitter. 🙂
Now, add the sausage & mushrooms back to the pan, pour in the chicken broth, and season with salt & pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, then add the heavy cream. Continue to simmer until the sauce thickens and coats the back of your spoon.
Add your cooked & drained penne, stir well, and serve! The sauce may be thin at first, but if you allow the pasta to sit for a few minutes, it will thicken up.
I did not have fresh basil on hand, but it does add another wonderful fresh element to the dish when added to the top with the parmesan.
I also modify it by making it meatless…. I tend to use more mushrooms if I go this route. You can use whole wheat or “smart” pasta, or change the veggies and make it your own! In my opinion, the cream makes this dish, so if you are looking for a lower fat version, then try half & half, but it really is a delicious splurge if you aren’t worried about calories. An extra 30 minutes on the treadmill is worth it, right?
As a family of four, we always have leftovers, so this is a good budget friendly meal, or perfect for a dinner party of 6-8 guests.