My mother bought my sisters and I a cookbook from Sam's Club called Favorite Family Dinners. If you have a membership, I'd highly recommend picking up a copy. For under $6.00, this book includes over 200 recipes for everyday meals. It's one of those books where you turn page after page realizing that you would make just about everything in it! I especially like that the first chapter is called the "Chef's Specials" chapter. It has recipes exerpted from many famous chefs' cookbooks, including this one from Tyler Florence's cookbook- Dinner at my Place. (The recipe I posted earlier this month for Guiltless Oven Fried Chicken also comes from this book.)
This particular recipe was definitely one I'd make again. It was a little time consuming, but really easy to put together. Since I was lucky enough to be given some fresh zucchini from a friend, I decided that it would be a perfect addition to the dish. I also added a bit more onion than the recipe called for and these few changes are reflected in the recipe below.
Penne with Spicy Italian Sausage, Cream, Tomatoes, & Peas
4 links spicy Italian Sausage (I used one whole package with 5 links, you can also use mild sausage if you prefer)
1 pound dried penne
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 small or 1 large zucchini, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 - 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups peas, blanched
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sausages in a roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and just cooked through. Cut the sausage at an angle into bite-sized pieces.
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until tender yet firm.
Set a large dutch oven (or heavy based pot) over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, and basil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add in cream and continue to simmer until rich and creamy. Add the sausage, blanched peas, and cheese. Fold together and cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Toss with the cooked pasta and serve topped with additional cheese and fresh basil.
Source: Adapted from the exerpted recipe by Tyler Florence, from Dinner at my Place