Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Penne with Zucchini Sauce and Sausage

It's the end of the semester, which means loads of grading that I've been putting off and dealing with students who are just now realizing that they're failing the class ("What? You mean if I don't turn my homework in, I won't pass the class?"). For those of you whose lives are run by semesters, you might be having similar feelings of stress, be it from the student or teacher side of things. Luckily for me (and my husband's stomach), cooking is a kind of stress relief for me. But if you don't share my passion for cooking, the end of a semester may leave you with little desire to get out of bed (or leave the library), much less cook something. This recipe is just thing for an easy, put-something-in-my-stomach type of meal.

When I asked my husband what I should say about this dish, his response was "it's tasteful and tantalizing." Not exactly what I had in mind, but sure. Mostly it's easy and good. Try it and let me know what you think. No really. Let me know.
Penne with Zucchini Sauce and Sausage
Recipe adapted from the back of Barilla pasta box
Picture by Kelly

1 pound Italian sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/3 inch thick and quartered
1 cup plum tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt*
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 box (16 oz) penne pasta
1/2 cup pasta water
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in the center, about 5-7 minutes. Remove sausage from skillet (place on a plate with a paper towel under it).
  2. Heat oil in skillet; saute zucchini, tomato, basil, garlic, salt and pepper until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in sausage.
  3. Meanwhile, cook penne. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup water.
  4. Add pasta to sausage mixture. Toss, adding reserved pasta water until it reaches your desired consistency (I used a little over 1/4 cup). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
*Sausage is usually plenty salty on its own, so if you're sensitive to salt, you might want to omit the salt completely.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I love Italian sausage and pasta. I was planning on it for dinner this past week. Thank you for this delicious variation.

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