Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Penne with Spicy Italian Sausage & Tomato Garlic Cream Sauce

I came up with this beauty last night out of a necessity to use up some cream cheese & sausage I had in the fridge. It turned out quite yummy. It would've been easier if I had a food mill, but I just pushed the mixture through a strainer with a spoon to get a really luxurious and velvety sauce.

3-5 links of Italian Sausage
1 lb penne (or other short pasta)
1 sweet onion
3 tomatoes (mine were plum tomatoes from my garden!)
1 can tomato paste
1 can of diced tomatoes
4 large cloves of garlic
about 1/2 cup (or a big spoonful) of cream cheese (mine was whipped, but regular or lowfat would work)
a handful of fresh basil
a handful of fresh parsley

Get a deep skillet going on medium high heat and toss the sausages in. Cut the onion into thin slices and nestle them in around the sausages. 
In the mean time, get your handy dandy food processor out and start loading the tomatoes & tomato paste in.

Turn the sausages over and stir up the onions a bit. See that yummy brown color? Yes!

Keep those a sizzlin' while we continue the sauce.  Really give those 'maters a good whirl in there. We want them really pureed.  Add the puree to the browned sausage & onions and keep that pan simmering.

Add in your whole cloves of garlic and the handful of fresh basil. Also about 2 tsp salt.

Cover and let that simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

When the timer goes off....remove the sausages and set aside.  Put a pot of water on to boil and salt it liberally.

Take your hot sauce and put back into the food processor. Puree it - but be careful! Fast-moving hot sauce is not something you want to get hit in the face with.

Now, if you have a food mill...use it. I only have a very old strainer. So I worked the pureed, hot sauce through the strainer with a metal spoon. What comes out is the most velvety, fragrant, smooth and delicious tomato sauce ever. It would make a great soup!

Use the "pulp" that's left on some crusty bread and make a little bruschetta. It's really delicious, but I really wanted the smooth consistency for this sauce.

Now slice your sausage thinly on a bias (to match the shape of the penne) - I only used 3 sausages and saved the other 2 for another meal in the freezer.

Add the sausage slices back into the silken tomato sauce. Put it on a low simmer.

Add your penne to the boiling water now.

Get your big spoonful o' cream cheese and gently stir it into the sausage & tomato sauce skillet.  I love cream cheese.

Mmmmmm. Silky and creamy. This would also be great if you used heavy cream, too. I just NEVER have it in my house. That's dangerous.

Add your cooked pasta into the sauce and combine well.

Add a big handful of minced parsley (or basil...or both) to the pasta and combine - serve!

My husband and son were both really into this dish. Very velvety consistency and full of flavor.


Unknown said...

That looks SO good, I will have to add the recipe to my list for next week!

Tuffy said...

looks awesome! i am going to try this i think, sans cream cheese

Melissa said...

The sauce was so awesome without the cream cheese too! The velvet texture will surely make you happy! Thanks ladies :)