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Verses from my Kitchen: Warm Pasta for Cold Nights

September 17, 2010

Warm Pasta for Cold Nights

It's been a long two days. I'm finally turning the corner on this cold, although it never seemed like it was going to end. Fitting that with the cold weather and temperature fluctuations comes illnesses that knock you down and let you know just how mortal you really are.

The colder temperatures outside aren't just a blip on the radar anymore. It's common to wake up to a colder feel in the house and a bite in the weather outside. It's also common for me to dig deep in the kitchen and make soups and comforting pasta dishes to warm up with. A slow cooking pasta sauce that gains a depth of flavour the longer it sits on the stove, and soothing cheese and spicy sausages that balance each other out perfectly.

Like everyone else, I tend to turn to a recipe from time to time. I collect cookbooks like people collect coins. One of my favourites is from Tyler Florence. This is based on his recipe for "Penne with Spicy Sausage, Cream, Tomatoes and Peas." One difference, I always put my own spin on a recipe I love and I don't like peas.

Penne with Spicy Sausages, Cream and Tomatoes


Serves: 4-6


Ingredients: 
4 links, spicy Italian sausage
Extra-Virgin Olive oil
1 lb. penne
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh torn basil leaves
1 can (28oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmigianno Reggiano, plus more for top of dish
fresh basil leaves for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Prep:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sausages on a sheet try and roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until slightly golden and just cooked. Cut on the angle and into bite-size pieces. Cook pasta in salted water until just tender but still has a bite to it--"al dente."
2. Set a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat and add a 2-count of oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, torn basil leaves and season with salt & pepper.
3. Simmer for 15 minutes and then fold in the cream and continue to simmer until creamy. 
4. Add the sausage and grated Parmesan. Fold together and cook 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to come together.
5. Serve topped with a shower of grated Parmesan and fresh basil.


Penne w/ Sausage, Cream and Tomatoes












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