So far I’ve left the cooking up to the professionals. Rebecca Lang has been doing a great job, but I don’t want you thinking that I can’t master the kitchen myself! Especially since filming “On the Menu” with THE top chef master himself, Emeril.
So this recipe is from my kitchen to yours. It’s great for a quick family dinner, but let me warn you, it turns up the heat a notch. And I’m not talking about the stove. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, try opting for regular sausage and nix the crushed red pepper.
- Mild Italian sausage from the deli
- Organic Penne Rigate (I like Montebello)
- Garlic, minced
- Onion, diced
- Tomato Sauce
- ½ can tomato paste (to thicken the sauce)
- Fresh whole tomatoes
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Black pepper to garnish
1. Start boiling a large pot of water over the stove for your pasta. In a separate medium pan, drizzle olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic together. Keep heat on low so you don’t overcook or burn away the flavors.
2. Prepare your sausage and cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss in the skillet with your onion and garlic, and cook until finished.
3. In a separate, large saucepan, combine your tomato sauce and use the paste to thicken to your desire. Toss in some garlic, fresh tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes to kick things up a notch (I like to leave the pepper out to garnish), and heat until sauce bubbles.
4. Have you been keeping an eye on that pasta? You should be! Once the penne is fully cooked, drain with a strainer and return to stovetop. Combine the sausage, onion and garlic with the sauce and serve. I like to keep the sauce and pasta separately so guests can choose their sauce to pasta ratio.
I like to serve this with a side of arugula salad and the freshest bread I can find at the bakery. Bon appétit!
Do you have a favorite pasta dish? Share your recipes in the comments below and I just might feature one here on the site.
Photos courtesy of Stephanie Todaro