Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creamy Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage and Tomatoes

The teenager young adult reminded me the other day of a pasta dish that I used to make once in a while when he was growing up. I hadn’t made it in years, probably because it’s not the healthiest dish, and we don’t eat a lot of meat anymore. But it is very tasty, and I think it’s okay to eat a more indulgent meal once in awhile. However, I think it’s important to stick to one portion and to pair the dish with plenty of veggies. Also, there are certainly ways to make the dish healthier, but I wanted to make “the real thing.”

Creamy Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage and Tomatoes

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 spicy Italian sausages, taken out of the casing and broken into small pieces
  • Approximately 13 ounces of diced/chopped tomatoes (I like to buy them in a carton, such as the Pomi brand; in the summer, I use fresh, homegrown tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T organic ketchup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Spicy red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 package pasta (16 ounces) – I like to use short shapes such as rigatoni or penne
  1. Boil the pasta and in the meantime prepare the sauce.
  2. Spray a pan with olive oil and sauté the onion for a few minutes and  then add the sausage pieces and cook until the sausage is done.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, water, and ketchup and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the heavy cream, taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes as desired.
  5. Mix the sauce with the boiled pasta and sprinkle with parsley.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

I made the dish when the young adult came over for dinner, and he loved it. I always love how food can bring back so many memories, and I was transported back to a time when he was much younger, and I think so was he…

Question: What’s one of your favorite dishes from your childhood? I have fond memories of my mom’s potato soup as well as long ziti (same length as spaghetti) with tomato sauce. She made the sauce with tomatoes she grew in her garden. In the summer,  she always made a big batch of the sauce and bottled it, and we had it all winter long. And I remember when I visited my aunt, we had eggs in mustard sauce (and she hid an egg from me!). Whenever I make the dish, I think of her. It’s been a while, and I think I’ll put it on the menu soon! Smile

Be well,