Saturday, October 6, 2012

Italian Sausage Ragu with Penne Pasta

The temperatures in the DFW area dropped by 25 degrees in 24 hours.  Yesterday was in the 80's so we were in shorts and t-shirts and today was in the low 50's all day finding us in jeans and sweatshirts.  I was craving a hearty and spicy pasta dish and this one fit the bill perfectly.  A ragu made with Italian sausage (I used a combination of both hot and mild) sauteed with some peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste was the base.  Some white wine was used to deglaze the pan and then a can of tomatoes went in with some crushed red pepper to cook down and create a sauce.  I tossed the al dente cooked penne in with the sauce to cook for the last few minutes and dinner was done.  This was the perfect cool night for such a spicy, soothing bowl of pasta.

Italian Sausage Ragu with Penne Pasta
Makes 2 servings

1/4 pound dry penne
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage (remove casings if you can't find bulk sausage meat)
3/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz.)
Red Pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Bring a pot of water to a boil for penne.  Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Brown sausage in a saute pan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, breaking sausage into small pieces.  Add bell pepper and onion; cook 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Deglaze pan with wine, then increase heat to high and cook until liquid is nearly evaporated.  Add tomatoes with their juice along with pepper flakes.  Simmer sauce until it starts to thicken.  Add parsley and cooked pasta for the last few minutes of cooking.

Garnish ragu with grated Parmesan.

Adapted from Cuisine for Two

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