Italian sausage penne is a hearty meal that is relatively easy to throw together in under 30 minutes.
Dinner is so hectic in our house, the kids have sports, Beta Club and frequently community theater practices to attend- getting them fed and out the door in a short period of time has become nothing short of an art. This is one of my favorite go to recipes as it feeds a crowd, can easily be adapted to accommodate unexpected guests (add a few more peppers or another handful of pasta!), add a side salad and you have an instant, hearty meal.
You’ll Need:12 ounces penne pasta
1 pound Italian sausage links (Hot or Mild)
1 small green pepper, thinly sliced
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
1 small vidalia onion, thinly sliced
½ cup red wine (merlot or pinot noir)
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 (8oz) tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. water
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh Basil Leaves (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Freshly Grated Parmesan cheese
Fill a large pot with water, add salt (about a teaspoon) and bring to a boil. Cook the penne pasta to your desired tenderness, do not overcook.
In the meantime, drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, add the sausages and brown them evenly on all sides. Transfer them to a plate to cool slightly, then cut them into 1/2 inch slices. It’s perfectly fine if they aren’t evenly cooked throughout as they’ll be simmering in the sauce for a bit.
In the hot skillet add the peppers and onions, saute. Return the sausage to the skillet, add the red wine (or substitute!) and deglaze the pan, scraping gently to get all the bits off the bottom of the skillet (this is where the best flavor is!)
Add water, tomato paste, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, sugar and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Stir gently to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 8-10 minutes.
Add the drained cooked Penne, fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese over the top, serve immediately with crispy garlic bread and a side salad.
Substitutes & Other Options:
There are so many wonderful variations to this dish, if you’re extremely limited on time you could simply season a jar of your favorite brand of spaghetti or marinara sauce with additional Italian seasoning, a heaping teaspoonful of minced garlic and the sausage and peppers
This is a very forgiving dish, if you don’t have peppers on hand, omit them entirely, or replace them with onion, dried tomato slices, etc. The recipe calls for a small amount of red wine, if you don’t have any on hand or would prefer a substitute, you can find one here.