Saturday, June 20, 2009

Penne with Spicy Italian Sausage, Cream, Tomatoes, and Peas

Do you go through phases with cooking? In the past few months, I have worked my way through my obsession with baking bread and my obsession with Recipezaar. I have moved onto my obsession with one of Tyler's new books, Dinner at My Place. Obsession number two, otherwise known as the farmer's market, is currently being fueled by Dinner at My Place. You might be wondering how a spicy sausage pasta dish is inspired by the farmer's market.......

While I was roaming the stalls of the farmer's market last week I heard quite a bit of commotion. Curious about all the noise, my daughter and I headed over to see what was going on. That is when we met "THE QUEEN OF SAUSAGE". (I thought of Donna instantly) The self-proclaimed "Queen of Sausage" was sitting on top of an old galvanized trash can in the back of an old pickup truck. She was dressed to draw attention and was wielding a sign declaring her royalty. She looked like she was having the time of her life, drawing a crowd, handing out samples, and screaming about being the Queen of Sausage. I'm glad that the sausage sample was delicious because there was no way I could refuse her. How can you turn down the Queen of Sausage? In fact, I think it could almost be considered unamerican!!

This was no ordinary sausage!! I knew I had to make something special, so I turned to Tyler and he did not let me down. While following Tyler Florence Fridays I have seen many people make this dish. I have read mixed reviews about the peas in this dish and decided to try something a little different. There were some ladies selling handcrafted pasta and I spotted some orecchiete, otherwise known as "little ears". I love all pasta, but I thought maybe this pasta would hold onto the peas better than the penne, and it did : ) So, I was happy to use freshly made pasta, local sausage and local peas. This recipe is packed with flavor and I absolutely loved it. How can you go wrong with pasta and a cream sauce?? This recipe is a keeper for me!


  • 4 links spicy Italian sausage (It does help if it comes from the "queen of sausage")

  • 1 pound dried penne (I used orecchiete)

  • extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes (Gasp...I used Red Gold)

  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 cups peas, blanced

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. Place the sausages in a roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until slightly golden and just cooked. Cut sausage at an angle into bite-size 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 (al dente).

Set a large, heavy-based pot over medium heat and add a 2-count of olive oil (about 2 tbsp). Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent and fragrant. Add tomatoes and basil; season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, then fold in cream and continue to simmer until rich and creamy. Add sausage, blanced peas, and parmigiano. Fold together and cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Serve topped with a shower of cheese and garnish with basil.

This dish is even better the next day!!


  1. Does the sausage queen travel? tee hee...this sounds really kinda food for sure!

  2. I have seen that dish posted on several blogs - and it looks so good!

    Sausage Queen - reminds me of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when they are trying to get into the French restaurant by proclaiming that Ferris was the Sausage King of Chicago!

  3. This is an awesome dish for SO many reasons. First of all, you got to meet the Queen of Sausage. Second of all, it's all local goods. Third of all it's a TYLER recipe so you know its good. Great idea about the orecchiette, when I make this dish I will have to remember that.

  4. Orecchiette is so much better than penne. I'm one of the ones who'd leave out the peas. Otherwise, this recipe rocks.

  5. This cracks me up! I had finally decided to make this dish and then I got online and saw yours! And the breakfast bars? Those have been on my list for ages, too! I don't think I'm gonna tell you what I'm making next week....seems like you can read my mind anyway! lol

  6. Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    Feel free to surf to my weblog: circumcised vs uncircumcised penises


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! At the moment I am having a huge problem with spam so I've had to add comment moderation and close off comments to anonymous users. I apologize for the trouble and hope to return my comments to normal shortly.